The European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) convened a workshop at its headquarters in Flensburg on 26-27 September 2013. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss new approaches to defining a ‘minority’.
The ECMI Report #64 details how the participating researchers critically assessed current constructions of minority identity within relevant multilateral contexts, primarily the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the European Union, and the United Nations.
It also describes how the Workshop participants sought to identify the struggles taking place over the competing ascriptions of meaning with respect to ‘minority’, and how they assessed the possibility for change.
Making sense of minority definitions’ contingency
Definitions are contingent fixations of meaning within a particular law and policy domain. This was the shared understanding of the specialists in politics, international relations, law, and sociology who met in September at the ECMI headquarters.
Insofar, the specialists joined the ECMI workshop on Definitions of “Minority” to discuss how to proceed from this shared understanding. Naturally, the relevant law and policy domain in the context was that of national minority rights, as the definition of ‘minority’ was in focus.
Thus, the Workshop described in the ECMI Report #64 inherently sought to launch a new research project aiming to revisit the issue of a definition of ‘minority’.
Read also: ECMI Issue Brief #30 released