Institutes & Centers

Institute for Minority Rights - Equality and Diversity in Integrated Societies

Equality and Diversity in Integrated Societies

This group explores problem-oriented issues related to the comprehensive concept of "integrated society" beyond the threefold traditional categories of vulnerable groupings - historical minorities, new minorities and indigenous peoples.

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An integrated society is based on the recognition of dignity in the various lifestyle choices and traditions and in the context of equitable access to rights as well as on fair and non-discriminatory sharing of resources, goods and services. The capacity to develop non-violent consensual processes to resolve any conflict and avoid polarization presupposes a veritable integrated society.

In such context, the research group "Equality and Diversity in Integrated Societies" (EDIS) adopts an approach that goes beyond traditional categories to allow for cross-fertilization in terms of both construction of synergies and sharing of common solutions for both policy and normative frameworks purposes.

The main EDIS research foci

1. Language, religion and socio-cultural practices

EDIS focuses on the role of majority and minority groups as well as of accommodation policies within the broad debate of minority protection, minority rights instruments, freedom of/from religion, migration-security nexus, and linkages between old and new minorities.

2. Human rights inclusion policies

EDIS analyses multilevel governance of migration, minority regions and policies encompassing unity and diversity; the group approaches common values from different perspectives, identifying the needs and interests of various individuals and groups, majority and minorities.

3. Equality and non-discrimination

EDIS tackles issues related to multiple diversity governance, affirmative actions and intersectionality especially in terms of nationality, gender, and religious/linguistic/cultural characteristics, while paying specific attention to superdiversity, diasporas and their relationship with home-and-kin-states.

The group contributes to the academic scholarship on diversity governance with a comparative approach following from studies on historical minorities, new minorities and indigenous peoples that, with few exceptions, have been traditionally and largely studied in isolation from each other.

By encompassing different minority groups, EDIS also adds new perspectives on specific groups such as religious groups (e.g., European and non-European Muslim communities), Urbanized Indigenous Migrants, and non-territorial minorities as Roma, Sinti and Travellers.

EDIS combines techniques based on legal, political, and religious science in order to develop an innovative interdisciplinary perspective on diversity governance. EDIS applies an interdisciplinary and inter-sectorial approach, mainly based on qualitative and mixed methodologies.

Research methods include the critical analysis of legal documents and judgments from national and international courts, the hermeneutical analysis of core religious texts and doctrines, comparative appraisal of policies and instruments destined for the accommodation of cultural and linguistic claims, and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data. This approach is well reflected in the team and its networks.

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