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

Edited by: Marc Weller, Katherine Nobbs

ISBN13: 9780199569984
Published: February 2010
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £195.00

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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.

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