ECMI Working Paper #95 released

ECMI PublicationsECMI Working Paper #95 is now online. The paper focuses on Hungarian autonomy claims in Zakarpattya, Ukraine. 

The ECMI Working paper is authored by Prof. Dr. David J Smith (Alec Nove Chair in Russian and East European Studies, University of Glasgow, UK) and Mariana Semenyshyn (Erasmus Mundus International Master’s Double Degree from the University of Glasgow, UK and Tartu University, Estonia). The paper entitled “Territorial-administrative decentralisation and ethno-cultural diversity in Ukraine : Addressing Hungarian autonomy claims in Zakarpattya” argues that:

  • since there is no obvious separatist movement within Zakarpattya, the Ukrainian state should seek as far as possible to accommodate Hungarian identity claims within the region (and, indeed, those of other smaller minority communities living within the state) as part of a normative and instrumental strategy of promoting ‘unity in diversity’.
  • the current Hungarian minority proposal for nationalterritorial autonomy – aside from being politically contentious – is impractical and also potentially problematic in terms of promoting fuller integration of the region into the framework of the Ukrainian state.
  • on paper, at least – Ukraine’s current concept of decentralization offers space to realise this non-territorial vision of cultural autonomy, provided that sufficient attention is also given to maintaining pre-existing territorially-based provisions with regard to minority language use and political representation for Hungarians at both regional and national level.

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Abstract

The paper argues firstly that, since there is no obvious separatist movement within Zakarpattya, the Ukrainian state should seek as far as possible to accommodate Hungarian identity claims within the region (and those of other smaller minority communities living within the state) as part of a normative and instrumental strategy of promoting ‘unity in diversity’. Secondly, it argues that Ukraine’s current concept of decentralization offers space to realise the non-territorial vision of cultural autonomy, provided that sufficient attention is also given to maintaining pre-existing territorially-based provisions with regard to minority language use and political representation for Hungarians at both regional and national level.

About the ECMI Working Papers

The ECMI Working Papers make available ongoing research made by the Centre’s research Team and our project partners. The represent ‘work in progress’ towards proper publishing and may include important documentation which is not available elsewhere. They aim to provide a platform for debate on new research and budging issues for colleagues outside the ECMI to keep abreast with our work. Where feasible, they may also make recommendations for future research.

As ECMI does not propagate opinions of its own, the views expressed in any of its publications are the sole responsibility of the author concerned. The ECMI Working Papers should not be quoted without the express permission of the author.

For further questions regarding the Working Papers of ECMI, please contact Dr. Mindaugas Kuklys.

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