Political Participation of Minorities: A Commentary on International Standards and Practice

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This Commentary provides the reader with a review of international standards and practice relating to the political participation of minorities. Political participation has been increasingly recognized as a foundational issue in the debate about minority rights. It is argued that minorities are more likely to feel co-ownership in the state if they have the opportunity to participate freely and effectively in all aspects of its governance, and that sustained and meaningful engagement will guard against the sense of alienation and exclusion among minorities that often emerges in ethnically divided societies.

Taking as its starting point the two most important standard-setting documents in the field - the Lund Recommendations on the Effective Participation of National Minorities in Public Life, developed by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Council of Europe's Thematic Commentary on the Issue of Political Participation of Minorities - the Commentary locates the international legal entitlement to political participation within the wider context of the right to democratic governance. It also considers effective participation in relation to the right to full and effective equality, as well as the legal entrenchment of these provisions and implementation mechanisms. Individual chapters then consider each of the principal mechanisms aimed at enhancing political participation, ranging from procedures covering minority representation in political institutions to consultative mechanisms and autonomy solutions.

The Commentary draws on a team of experts, all of whom are recognized authorities in this specialized area of minority issues.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199569984
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/12/2010
  • Pages: 600
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 2.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Marc Weller is Reader in International Law and International Relations at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Hughes Hall and the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. From 2000-2009 he served as Director of the European Centre for Minority Issues. His principal publications include Contested Statehood (Oxford University Press, 2009), Escaping the Self-determination Trap (Nijhoff, 2008), Settling Self-determination Disputes (Nijhoff, 2008) and Universal Minority Rights (Oxford University Press, 2007). In addition to his scholarly work, Dr Weller has served as a legal advisor to governments and international organizations, and in international peace processes. Katherine Nobbs is Project Officer at the European Centre for Minority Issues in Pristina, Kosovo, and Co-Managing Editor of the European Yearbook of Minority Issues.

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Table of Contents

Democratic Governance and Minority Political Participation: Emerging Legal Standards and Practice, Marc Weller
Part I: General Issues
1. Ethnic Diversity, Political Exclusion and Armed Conflict: A Quantitative Analysis of a Global Dataset, Andreas Wimmer, Lars-Erik Cederman and Brian Min
2. Ethnic Democracies, John McGarry
3. Understanding Minority Participation and Representation and the Issue of Citizenship, Annelies Verstichel
4. Minority Participation and State Design, John Packer
5. The Principle of Full and Effective Equality and Political Participation, Zdenka Machnyikova and Lanna Hollo
6. Gendering Minority Participation in Public Life, Karen Bird
Part II. Legal Frameworks
7. Minorities, Political Participation and Democratic Governance under the European Convention on Human Rights, Steven Wheatley
8. The Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities and the Advisory Committee Thematic Comment, Josef Marko
9. The OSCE Lund Recommendations in the Practice of the High Commissioner on National Minorities, Krzysztof Drzewicki
10. Effective Participation by Minorities: UN Standards and Practice, Ilona Alexander
11. Universal and European standards of Political Participation of Minorities, Andraz A. Melansek
12. Political Participation Systems Applicable to Indigenous Rights, Luis Rodriguez-Pinero
Part III. Representation
13. Electoral Systems Design, Brendan O'Leary
14. Making Effective Use of Parliamentary Representation, Oleh Protsyk
15. Executive Power-sharing, Florian Bieber
16. At the Heart of Participation and its Dilemmas: Minorities in the Executive Structures, Francesco Palermo
17. Political Participation and Power-sharing in Ethnic Peace Settlements, Fernand de Varennes
Part IV: Consultation and Special Issue Participation
18. Minority Consultative Mechanisms: Towards Best Practice, Marc Weller
19. Special Contact Mechanisms on Roma, Eva Sobotka
20. Participation in Social and Economic Life, Kristin Henrard
21. Benchmarking: International Standards for Minority Participation in the Judiciary, Katherine Nobbs
Part IV: Minority Self-governance
22. Federalism, Regionalism and Asymmetrical Autonomy, Yash Ghai
23. Cultural Minority Self-governance, Ephraim Nimni
24. Enhanced Local Self-government as a Means of Enhancing Minority Governance, Bill Bowring
25. Minority Associations: Issues of Representation, Internal Democracy and Legitimacy, Peter Vermeersch
Part V: Implementation Issues
26. Minority Participation in Bilateral and International Reporting and Monitoring Processes, Emma Lantschner
27. Legislative Entrenchments and Implementation Remedies, Alain Chablais

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