Minorities and Human Rights

Diversity Governance for Old and New Minorities : Between Human Rights and Minority Protection

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This research project investigates, from a legal perspective, issues related to the tensions between equality and diversity with the aim to develop a common system of protection for old and new minorities that bridges two fields of research, i.e. minorities and migration. In particular, this research project addresses the question whether the extension of concepts, policies and rights developed for historical minorities, to migrants, is conceptually meaningful and beneficial to the inclusion of ‘new’ minorities. The central question of this research project, which is based on the Human Rights Model for Diversity Governance or Tree Model (Medda-Windischer, 2008), is whether it is possible to develop a defensible model for minority protection based on equality in diversity that overcomes the traditional dichotomy ‘old-new’ minorities and reconciles unity and diversity. Main research foci in this area are new minorities, religious minorities and non-territorial minorities as Roma, Sinti and Travellers - a veritable "new" and "old" minority group present in virtually all European countries.


Conference “What’s in a Name? Extending the Existing Scope of Protection for National Minorities to Migrant Communities in Europe”, Villa Vigoni, Italy, 11- 12 April 2017 (participation on invitation only)

The conference is a joint initiative of the Institute for Minority Rights and the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) and will bring together in an interdisciplinary discussion the conceptual frameworks, methodologies, and general expertise developed over time in the two separate – but related – fields of minority studies and migration studies.

Guest speakers include Prof. Will Kymlicka, Prof. Tariq Modood, Prof. Christian Joppke, Prof. Francesco Palermo, Prof. Rainer Hofmann, Prof. Joseph Marko and other distinguished scholars. See the full list of participants and read the detailed description of the conference here

The conference is funded by the Villa Vigoni German-Italian Centre for European Excellence, an initiative of the German Research Council (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG).



Roberta Medda-Windischer (Senior Researcher), roberta.medda@eurac.edu

Project Team
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