Abstract: This paper formulates both general theoretical questions with a conceptualization of ethnicity and empirical implications for ethnic groups' cohabitation. On a theoretical level, the author suggests to surmount misconceptualizations shaped by modernity projects by calling for a much more "constructivist" definition of ethnicity. He also proposes to disregard the sharp individual/collective rights dichotomy by employing an eclectic application of those concepts. On the level of a practical ethnicities policy, the author suggests to entail a multileveled structure of group neutral and group sensitive considerations. He calls for preserving territorial unity of a nation state and, at the same time, for pursuing a normative goal of equality among ethnic groups and the majority nation. The outcome should be ethnic integration that transforms demarcation line between the ethnic minority and nation state into the triadic structure: unity-difference-equality.
I cannot but agree with the author who noted that "the problem of nationhood, nationalism, and ethnic minorities in post-communist Europe has emerged with an unexpected and unpredictable virulence" (Schopflin 1996:151). Even those countries, which in the 1990s avoided the atrocities of ethnic wars, regard the question of cohabitation among various ethnic communities as having a high place in the political agenda. I argue that there is a certain theoretical confusion about the concepts of ethnicity, nationality, individual and collective rights. These misconceptions result from the obsolescence of certain categories of positivist social science and from some contradictions embedded in the doctrine of liberalism within whose intentions these notions have been originally formulated. I claim that these conceptual mistakes devoid us of an analytical advantage bringing about an inadequate "ethnicities discourse" that does not grasp the present reality. Consequently, inapt "ethnic policies" resulting from this discourse are offered by nation-states throughout Central and Eastern Europe.
In this paper I shall both elaborate a general theoretical framework and outline particular suggestions for ethnic groups' cohabitation and their relation a nation-state. First, I shall tackle theoretical problems connected with the definition of ethnic minority. I argue that the prevailing understanding of nation and ethnicity that find its expression in nation-states' internal politics, international relations, and most of 'national' and international declarations and documents is an "objectivistic" understanding. It takes into account "evident" criteria such as language, religion, history, culture or common fate. However, I insist it is a normative decision to give exactly those factors relevance. Thus in order to define an ethnic group, one has to make the decision, which of the factors should be the defining common characteristic. Ethnicity is a socially constructed category and not a set of empirical characteristics people have in common to constitute an ethnic group. Moreover, ethnic identities are not fixed classifications. There are multiple identities and there are also 'situational' identities; there are also situations when ethnic identity, or the requirement to self-identify according to a principle of ethnicity, is a completely new normative program.Second, I shall try to place the issue of ethnic minorities into a context of the "individual versus collective rights" discussion. There is a widely shared belief that an ethnic group can enjoy any political rights related to community's 'self-expression' as based on two clearly cut theoretical possibilities - individual or collective rights. This belief has roots in ideology of liberalism and its concept of human rights. But there are some problems with the concept. I hold that there is an internal tension in the notion of human rights since it contains two contradictory ideas. First one maintains that human rights are universal rights and the claim for them transcends cultural particularities, group interests and delineated borders and jurisdiction of nation-states. The second idea pertains to distinct groups of people or communities, which are seen as eligible for some specific rights in order to counterbalance negative sanctions or discrimination from the side of the majority society.
What we see in "ethnicities policy" in the 1990s in Eastern and Central Europe (and in Slovakia) is a "preoccupation with legalism". This word combination, which I have concocted, refers to arguing and looking for the model solutions, the European 'standard' and "ideal type" of an (inter-) national legal framework. But it brings problems, since there is no European 'standard' and since implementation even of the best legal documents always depends on a particular context. By then I shall seek to summarize my theoretical assumptions, hypotheses and empirical findings. Based on this I shall draw a tentative conclusion and suggest some political/institutional solution.
An ethnic minority
is created by the logic of a nation-state since collective self-representation
as an ethnic minority presupposes a tangible collective representation
of the majority. But most nation-states are not homogeneous entities
and do not have state-culture congruence. In fact, often there are at
least two self-conscious cultures or ethnicities living within the nation-state's
territory. To accommodate this contradiction, the 'eye' of a nation-state
often sees only one dominant ethnic-cultural nation - the other self-articulated
ethnic groups are just residual, unimportant cases.
of this dynamic and "constructivist" definition over "objectivist"
one, it is just fair to also point out its weak sides. An observer may
notice that there can be a wide variety of political, social and cultural
self-expressions of ethnic minorities. Thus, the attribute number three
can range sufficiently from the recognition of some form of cultural
autonomy through the claims for territorial autonomy to the claim for
the creation of a fully independent state. On the empirical level, say,
let's take the case of the Slovaks and the Hungarians living in the
Yugoslavian province Vojvodina.<3>
Both Slovaks and Hungarians are recognised as distinct ethnic-cultural
minorities different from the numerically and politically dominant nation
- the Serbs. At this point the conditions number one and two of the
above definition of ethnic minorities are met. But complications begin
with the attribute number three. Although both ethnicities are recognised
by the state of Yugoslavia as different ethnicities, the assertion of
collective rights from them varies. The Slovaks assert mostly the rights
for cultural self-expression, cultural institutions ("Matica Slovenska")
and the rights for schooling in the mother tongue. Their cultural articulation
is firmly based within the constitutional status quo. Hungarians' claims
(as represented by the Democratic Community of Hungarians in Vojvodina)
are politically more ambitious - they are often seen as balancing on
the verge, campaigning for territorial autonomy.<4>
Whilst the Slovaks are perceived in Yugoslavia mostly as a co-operative
ethnic group, the Hungarians are perceived as a non co-operative ethnic
with the above definition results from the fact that any acknowledged
ethnic and cultural group is internally heterogeneous entity. Thus,
real content of the attribute number three can vary substantially inside
the group. This is the case even in the instance of firmly consolidated
ethnic minorities such as the Hungarians of Slovakia. For example, in
the beginning of the 1990s, one segment of the Hungarian political spectrum
- the Coexistence (one constituent political parties which currently
form the Party of Hungarian Coalition) - based their claim for ethnic
rights on radical political programs such as cultural and territorial
autonomies. Conversely, the representatives of the Hungarian citizens'
party (MOS) had more modest demands of co-operative participation within
the constitutional framework of Czechoslovakia - this co-operative participation
was based on participation in the state's institutions, government,
and in local administration.
The matrix of ethnic group relations clearly suggests the main possible strategies of nation states in their dealing with minorities. If the state necessitates preserving social unity and at the same time wants to guarantee equality among ethnic groups (and equality between ethnic minorities and the majority nation), the political outcome must be ethnic-cultural integration. If the state wants to preserve social unity and at the same time it resigns to a normative goal of group equality, we will get as a result the policy of assimilation. When the state does not care about preserving social unity but at the same time is committed to the principle of group equality, the result will be some form of autonomy for the ethnic minority. And finally disregard of social unity combined with the politics of group inequality produces segregation.
Autonomy has three dimensions: personal, cultural and territorial. The concept of personal autonomy I now am leaving aside since is irrelevant for the subject matter of this paper. Cultural autonomy is a very complex concept. It involves the authorization that an ethnic group has a distinct autonomous political and cultural identity. Translated into the language of practical politics, it implies that ethnicity is legally recognized as a distinct group within the borders of nation state and it is assumed that it has some legal collective rights. At the same time it is expected that this ethnic group is loyal to the nation state. Because it is loyal, it has the right to enjoy social benefits provided by the state. In practice, the state finances the minority's school system. Moreover, a nation state often allows some form of (bilingual) local administration in the minority language. This kind of situation currently exists with respect to the most powerful ethnic minorities in several Eastern and Central European countries. For instance, the institutional attributes of "de facto" cultural autonomy for ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia are: a separated educational system (at nursery, primary and secondary level), a so-called "Minority Language Law"<19> that allows under some provision the use of the minority's language in state administration and local governments and the state-budget chapter for ethnic culture, media and press.
Territorial autonomy is a more radical form of autonomy. It indicates a particular area where the ethnic minority is concentrated and, at the same time, it provides for the legal framework for the application of a whole array of autochthonous forms of self-expression and policies. In practice, the employment of autonomous policies is fully institutionalized with legislative, judicial and executive powers. That means in autonomous regions there are usually sovereign parliaments, governments and courts in operation. This kind of autonomy is often identified with the process of "regionalism".<20> Typical examples of autonomous regions in Europe are South Tyrol, Catalonia, or a very special case, Aaland Islands.<21>
George Schopflin maintains that "in post-communist Europe ... autonomy is universally interpreted by majorities as a covert demand for secession. The proposition that a particular area should enjoy special status is anathema to members of ethnic majorities, who reject minority claims as an attack on the integrity of the state. In part it is attributable to political inexperience and in part to the crudity of post-communist political thinking ... propensity to see all political contests on zero-sum terms". (Schopflin 1996:157) In my opinion, territorial autonomy is generally by any nation-state - not only in post-communist Europe - perceived as an ethnic group's claim to annex state's territory.<22> It is not only the context of post-communism, as Schopflin thinks, that predisposes majorities against minorities' autonomy solutions. It is not only the context of post-communism that in this respect "emphasised homogeneity, black-and-white thinking and the kind of epistemological certainty that insisted that in each moment of choice there could be only one answer" (Ibid.). I would say no - let's not blame 'communism' for everything. Deep structural disapproval of heterogeneity rooted in the very logic of any nation state is the predisposition against "territorial autonomy" solutions.
Territorial autonomy in South Tyrol, although often given as an example of the "good" solution, has its "dark" side. The long and winding road to the current autonomy-status is an indication of the problems and of the distrust of the Italian nation-state to the German speakers' regionalist project.<23> In my opinion, frankly speaking, the Italians' distrust might be partially justified after taking a closer look at the behaviour of some parts of South Tyrol's German political spectrum. It reveals that the achieved autonomy status quo has been understood very instrumentally, only as one necessary step taken on the way to the final aim, to independent statehood. Distrust generates distrust. And distrust of the majority nation (Italians) towards ethnic minority (Tyrolian German speakers) reciprocally generates distrust of the minority towards the majority. South Tyrol is not an exception - the other cases are not generally better. It is, again, not so easy to agree with Schopflin who chooses the British context to claim that "the Welsh aspirations were confined largely to the cultural sphere by concession over language in 1984 ... and that ... the establishment of a separate Welsh-language television channel ... has satisfied the expectations of the newly rising Welsh speaking elite". If those "demands not been met," the author reasons "there is little doubt that Welsh activists would have intensified their campaign and polarised the situation" (Schopflin 1996:158). To raise an argument against this opinion, one can use the stand-by example of Scotland, where the ambivalent demands for more recognition have been continuously transformed into political ones. And I think it is very intricate to foresee the future of the United Kingdom with respect to its ethnic-political development.
Disturbing is the instance of Kosovo, its autonomous past and uncertain future. Can we really seriously accept the assumption that if Milosevic's policies were reasonably "open-minded" (and the autonomous status of Kosovo would not be eliminated by the Constitution of 7 September 1990) the intensity of ethnic Albanians' thrust for sovereignty would be weaker? The "modus operandi" of the Yugoslavian multiethnic project was a peculiar mixture of Tito's charm, culture, Communist party discipline and very sophisticated multileveled constitutional structures.<24> After the demise of all those "old" attributes, in the new framework, the federal project hardly could work. Therefore, it is at least questionable whether more benevolent ethnic policies of Serbia could make any difference in Albanians' ambitions in the 1990s.
There are three political options on the path to "autonomy". The first is to aspire towards autonomy through political mobilization, whilst the existing institutions of the nation-state are fully accepted. The second option is the establishment of new constitution guaranteeing political influence and group autonomy in certain policy-making areas. The third option is the establishment of a putative ethnically homogeneous political entity through demands for complete sovereignty. These three options also have a developmental sequence. They are often complementary and one stage may follow the other - from the mild requirements through more bold ones up to the final aim -a sovereign state. Succession of the stages cannot be secured and the third stage does not necessarily follows the second one. But, frankly - can we be surprised that autonomy as a solution is despised by nationalists?
Segregation, as a coherent set of policies, represents an inadmissible model of inter-ethnic relations in today's Europe. In its most apparent and radical forms, ethnic segregation as a model of interethnic relations is simply an "outcaste". And there are very good reasons that justify this position. Yet, we should not be surprised to find out some elements of ethnic segregation in structures of ethnic policies in many European states nowadays. In South Tyrol as well as in Slovakia, elements of segregation which had permeated into the educational system have lasted there for about 50 years. In practice, the enrolment of a child in a school where the language of instruction differs from the native one is very rare. This is not to say that the segregated education in the case of South Tyrol or Slovakia has been implemented against the political will of the ethnic minorities. In Slovakia, ethnically separated schools are one of the basic requests of the Hungarian political representation in order to enjoy fully-fledged native-culture socialization. In South Tyrol, the German speakers' party (SVP) is a legitimate advocate of a similar demand. But in spite of the fact that the requirement is democratically legitimate - does it always work to the benefit of a society? Even if we understand ethnic segregation as a temporary method of conflict management applicable for short time, it is not a desirable model of interethnic 'modus-vivendi' over a longer period of time.
Assimilation is a more ambiguous policy. It can be characterized as an attempt by the majority nation to effectively eliminate borders of ethnic group distinctiveness by the removal of all minority institutions, especially those related to culture and education. However, for the sake of correctness we should not forget that similar techniques were instruments, which were used in the modernization projects of the 19th and 20th centuries in the "great transformation" of pre-industrial fragmented societies into homogeneous nation states. The state resorting to assimilation may insist that minorities such as, say, the Kashubs (in Poland) should gradually identify themselves as Polish people. Policies of assimilation are often legitimized by proclaimed 'assistance' of the minorities to achieve social equality. In fact assimilation often brings about suffering and identity loss on the part of ethnic minority groups. In its most ominous cases it leads to the disappearance of the entire ethnic group. Although assimilation policies in large European nations were usually successful, in other cases the communities proved extraordinarily resilient in the face of assimilatory attempts by modern states. What might looks like my further attempt to complicate the whole issue is fact that while for well-articulated ethnic minorities (such as the Hungarians in Slovakia), assimilation seems to be an unacceptable policy; however, it is tacitly agreeable in the instance of "racially" distinct and socially disadvantaged groups (e.g. the Roma and Sinti in Eastern and Central Europe).
If we postulate preserving the territorial unity of the nation state and at the same time pursuing the normative goal of equality between ethnic groups with various power status, the political outcome must be ethnic-cultural integration. I hold that the option for integration should be affirmed by a voluntarily decision of the ethnic group and formed on ascertained collective rights (since individual rights' could in some cases in effect reserve the collective right of decision to the majority nation). In this way, asserted collective rights would confer legitimacy that could form a larger basis for ethnic claims. I hold that genuine ethnic integration guarantees a territorial unity of a nation state, warrants social unity and upholds ethnic groups' equality.
I claim that the tendency to "objectify" the definition of ethnic identity deprives us of an analytical advantage. Therefore I suggest employing a more "constructivist" definition of ethnicity. I suggest surmounting contradictions contained in the concept of individual and collective rights shaped by modernity projects, by employing a more eclectic theoretical framework. On the level of practical policy I suggest to entail a multileveled structure of group- neutral and group-sensitive considerations. I suggest to enhance the social unity of a society by pursuing a normative goal of equality between ethnic groups. The output should be integration that transforms the dichotomy of group power position (in relation majority/minority) into the triadic structure: unity - difference - equality. Ethnic integration should respect all distinct cultural needs, including the native language education. At the same time it should avoid as much as possible the latent elements of ethnic segregation both in the school system and social life. Genuine integration is a "comfortable" solution for neither the majority nation nor for the ethnic minority - however, it is a sound conceptual framework and policy aim for reconciling the ethnic minority/majority dichotomy. In contrast to any kind of nationalists, I am aware that there is no "good" and "once and forever" solution that would eliminate ethnic nationalism.
Brubaker, Rogers and Frederick Cooper. 2000. "Beyond Identity". Theory and Society. No 29. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Brubaker, Rogers. 1996. Nationalism reframed. Nationhood and the national question in the New Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Eriksen, Thomas H. 1993. Ethnicity and Nationalism, Anthropological Perspective. London: Pluto Press.
Gellner, Ernst. 1998. Nationalism. London: Phoenix.
Hamberger, Judith. 1998. "The ratification of the basic treaty between Hungary and Slovakia and its impact on the relations between the two countries." International studies. No. 4. Bucharest.
Ishay, Micheline R. (ed.) 1997. The Human Rights Reader. Major political writings, essays, speeches and documents from the Bible to the present. New York: Routledge.
Krause, Kevin D. 1998. National issues and party system polarisation in Slovakia. <www.cla.wayne.edu/polisci/krause/papers/aaass98.htm>.
Lazic, Mladen. 2000. "Attitudes towards state independence in Montenegro". Research report manuscript.
Lewis, I. M. 1985. Social Anthropology in perspective: the relevance of social anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Markotich, Stan. 1993. "Vojvodina: A Political Powder Keg." RFE/RL Research Report. 2 (46), November 19.
Melcic, Dunja. 1994. "Communication and National identity: Croatian and Serbian Patterns" in: Praxis International Volume 13, No.4. 1994
Oltay, Edith. 1993. "Hungarians Under Political Pressure in Vojvodina" RFE/RL Research Report. 2 (48), December 3.
Schopflin, George. 1996. "Nationalism and Ethnic Minorities in Post-Communist Europe." In: Caplan, R., Feffer, J. Europe's New Nationalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Varady, Tibor. 1995. "Remarks on Cultural Pluralism and Multiethnicity in Ethnic Societies" In: B. Jaksic (ed.) Interculturality in Multiethnic Societies. Belgrade.
Wallernstein, Immanuel. 1991. After liberalism. New York: The New Press.
Zbierka zakonov Slovenskej republiky. 1999. Jul,. 184.
Lexis/Nexis: All Major Newspapers from 1990 to October, 2000
<1>In reality these "ideal types" are more complex, sometimes blurred and sometimes intermingled categories. For example, the Basques' claim for "self-determination" is recognized to be legitimate by the "state-possessing" majority nation (Spaniards) as well as by the international community only to a certain extent. Needles to say that Basques' organisation ETA, regularly resorting to violence, effectively de-legitimize a political claim for independence. <back>
<2>Brubaker in his text uses the word "ethnocultural" <back>
<3>According to the 1991 Census, Vojvodina contains a 57 percent majority population of Serbs. Hungarians constitute 22 percent, Croats constitute 7 percent and Romanians, Slovaks and Rusyns make up most of the remainder of the region's population of two million. Vojvodina was part of Hungary until it was ceded in 1920 to the newly created Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later renamed Yugoslavia) under the terms of the treaty of Trianon. After World War I, many Hungarians and Germans left the region to be replaced by Serb immigrants. Over time Vojvodina gained autonomy and this status was confirmed in the 1974 Yugoslav Constitution. Legislation passed since 1990 has eroded the minority rights of ethnic Hungarians. Serbian has become the sole official language and the use of Hungarian is prohibited in official business. The number of Hungarian-language classes has been significantly reduced and principles of all schools are appointed by the central government, which very rarely appoints ethnic Hungarians, even in regions with significant Hungarian populations. Hungarians have been removed from influential public positions. The major political party representing Vojvodina's ethnic Hungarians is the Democratic Community of Hungarians in Vojvodina (DCHV). It has been promoting local autonomy for Hungarians in Vojvodina (Markotich 1993, Oltay 1993). <back>
<4>On 14 December 1998 the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians (SVM) announced that it is presenting a package agreement on the definition of the political framework for self-rule in Vojvodina, drafted by the party's experts. The SVM statement says that talks should start next week with representatives of other Vojvodina Hungarian parties on harmonizing their views on the draft document. On 27 December 1998 the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians (SVM) and the Democratic Community of Vojvodina Hungarians (DZVM) agreed on a general political plan for the autonomy of Vojvodina and on electoral co-operation. However, the Vojvodina ethnic Hungarians are currently divided on the question of form of autonomy. Some of them speak out in favour of personal autonomy - in fact collective rights - which would favour the ethnic Hungarians alone, while other support territorial autonomy, which would be extended over the territory of the whole province. (Ibid.) <back>
<5>According to Vijesti, 11 September 1999. <back>
<6>A small example in order to illustrate my argument. The existence of a separated schooling system is considered to be both a desirable solution and legitimate claim for the Slovak - Hungarian inter-ethnic "modus vivendi" in Slovakia. The case of Romanies in Slovakia is completely different. Here a kind of separate educational segregation is not an acceptable alternative and could be considered a racial segregation. (Why is nobody accusing Italians or Germans in South Tyrol for mutual xenophobia on the grounds of the fifty-year-long existence of "de facto" educational segregation?). <back>
<7>In my opinion, such as situation is nowadays with respect to the question of ethnic identities in Kazachstan. The convention of the conference Multicultural education, planning, sharing, was a good opportunity to have a close look at the situation. Cf Kurganskaya 2000, Brenner & Taras 1994. <back>
<8>"Time zones" are concepts indicating differences in nationalism in terms of the relation between state and culture. The form this relation takes differs in four basic ways (Gellner 1998). <back>
<9>Interesting might also be the relation between ethnic identity and attitudes towards independence. The idea of an independent Montenegro was supported by 38,3 percent of Montenegrins, 2,2 Montenegrin Serbs, 3,0 Serbian-Montenegrin, 30 Muslims, 43,9 Muslim-Montenegrins, 75 Albanians, 2,7 Yugoslavians and 3,1 Serbs. Federation with Serbia - that means pre-September 2000 status quo - was preferred by 19 percent of Montenegrins, 76,5 percent Montenegrin-Serbs, 68,9 percent Serbian-Montenegrins, 3,4 percent Muslims, 5,3 percent Muslim-Montenegrins, 59,5 percent Yugoslavians and 60,7 percent Serbs (Lazic 2000). <back>
<10>I am aware that the same claim might pertain to declarations and documents at the international level as suggested above. <back>
<11> The concept of human rights is a rather recent 'invention'. But more ambitious long-range "theorizing" has invented that human rights reach back to ancient times. It holds that religious humanism, Stoicism and natural rights of antiquity are predecessors of our secular and modern understanding of rights. In a similar vein it claims that most religious texts like The Bible, Buddhist texts, The New Testament and The Koran incorporate moral and humanistic principles, often articulated in the terms of duties - the Ten Commandments represent a code of morality and mutual respect that had a far-reaching influence on the Western world (Ishay, 1994). However, I assume that abstractions like nation-state and human rights belong to the modern era - to the era that began with the Enlighntment. And while the western Enlighntment formulated liberal civic and political rights, during the industrial revolution, a new socialist challenge to liberal rights appeared. <back>
<12>This discrepancy was obvious also for the authors of the Declaration and two other separate UN covenants soon thereafter- The International Covenant on Civic and Political Rights (ICCPR) and The International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights (ICESR) -resulted from an intense need to solve that controversy. The crucial difference between them resides in the fact that the former leaned toward a liberal perspective on human rights while ICESR moved toward a socialist agenda of human solidarity rights. Other conventions also reflect this divide. While the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950) provides citizens with mechanism to redress civil and political rights violated by the states, protection of economic and social rights was proclaimed by European Social Charter (1961). And from the mid-1950s onward, an important body of other specific civic rights expanded the UN's coverage of human rights. <back>
<13>The program had two other "pragmatic" purposes: to reach the people and liberal leaders of the Central Powers, in the hope that their influence would help shorten the war, and to provide an actual framework for the peace discussion. <back>
<14>For Lenin's text see <www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1914/self-det/ch01.htm>. <back>
<15>Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) gained independence on 18 April 1980 as the fiftieth state in Africa. <back>
<16>Unequivocal acknowledgement of the principle of self-determination by both liberals and Bolsheviks lead Immanuel Wallernstein to ask whether we have three ideologies (conservatism, liberalism and socialism) or only one (Liberalism)? (Wallernstein 1991). <back>
<17>It is formally justified by the "myth-cliché" that the acceptance of the civic principle conforms most closely to the principles of western democracy. Rejection of the concept of "collective rights" is most loudly articulated by HZDS and SNS. See election programs <www.isnet.sk/sns/prg.thm>. <back>
<18>Content analysis of programs of parties corroborates that ethnic Hungarian party Coexistence's education plan notes that "members of Hungarian national society have the right to gain general and specialized education under the same conditions as members of the Slovak nationality including the right to education in one's native language at every level of schooling from primary school to university, but does not address the practical issues involved in extending that right to all other minority groups. Although they show signs of sympathizing with other minority groups in Slovakia, the Hungarian parties seek equality of collective benefits primarily for their own group" (Krause, 1998). <back>
<19>So-called Minority Language Law (No. 184 adopted on July 10, 1999) permits the use of an ethnic minority's native language in areas with a twenty- percent minority population. Use applies mainly to dealing with government officials. Hungarians are arguing that the language law does not go far enough in protecting minorities" rights. <back>
<20>Formulating it the other way round: if regionalism is connected with an ethnic group's articulation, it results in the ethnic-based territorial autonomy. Problems of regionalism and ethnic autonomy are interconnected. In both cases we are witnesses of "anti-modernity" projects. <back>
<21>Members of ethnic majority (Finns) are forbidden to settle in the Aaland Islands. Another specific case is Switzerland. The Swiss commune is monolingual, as are the most cantons. Yet the state recognizes three official languages. <back>
<22>Or the first step to some territorially based disintegration. <back>
<23>The conflict about South Tyrol was settled as recently as in 1992. When, after the Second World War, the Great powers rejected claim of South Tyrol to be returned to Austria, the only way left open was for Austria and Italy to negotiate directly so that the region should obtain some form of self-government. To that effect the basic agreement was reached within the peace negotiations in Paris, on 5 September 1946, the Paris Agreement was signed. Italy tried to fulfil the obligations to give autonomous legislative and executive power by adoption of Statute, on 31 January 1948 and extension of the Status to the Trentino and creation of Italian majority 'Trentino - Tiroler' region. Impatience continued to grow and in 1957 the first bombings occurred. On November 1957 a big protest demonstration took place. In 1961 came more bombing attacks. The new statute came about with the adoption of constitutional law n. 1 of Nov. 1971 was followed by publication of unified text that contained measures still in force of former statute as well as those of the new one. After 20 years of negotiations notification of implementation of measures agreed upon in 1969 was transmitted by the Italian government to Vienna on 22 April 1992. The Austrian Federal government officially declared before the UN on 11 June 1992 that the conflict had been settled. <back>
<24>I somehow do not favour Brubaker's "triadic" nexus nationalism as the break-up of Yugoslavia. (Brubaker 1996:69-76). From all on the former Yugoslavia I prefer Tibor Varady's (1995). Useful is also Dunja Melcic 1994. <back>