National Minorites and their influence on Regional Development

…is the today`s topic at the ECMI headquarters.

Yesterday and today, the invited participants of our expert workshop elaborate on potential synergies between minorities and regional development.
Although coming from different research backgrounds and disciplinaries, the present experts have one thing in common: an interest in the research on minorities as actors in regional development.

“When it comes to regional development, the true potential of minorities is often untapped and remains under-researched”, states Sonja Wolf, ECMI Junior Research Associate. “However, mostly living in peripheral and border regions, the strategic and structured involvement of minorities in regional development activities is especially important and could be a tool to increase social cohesion”, she concluded.

By combining three fields of research (Regional Development, Border Region Studies and Minority Studies), the ECMI aims to explore the role of minorities in regional development, particularly in border regions. The workshop will gather knowledge and explore useful avenues and strategies to research minorities in regional development.

Furthermore, the workshop intends to connect scholars from other fields examining related issues and to potentially lay the groundwork for collaborative multidisciplinary research on the topic in the future.

After the welcoming and a short introduction to the work of the ECMI yesterday morning, the experts identified the differences between the three fields and discussed their potential for synergies. A detailed evaluation of the source situation was followed by an elaboration on quantitative and qualitative approaches towards the research of minorities in regional development.

Throughout its work in the field of minority issues, the ECMI had the chance to observe and analyse the peaceful and prosperous development of minority-majority relations in many regions across Europe. Although these positive relations are often intimately linked to the quality of life in the region and the socio-economic well-being of its inhabitants, this event is a premiere!

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