Minority and Group Rights to Accomodate Difference: Approaches and Applications
International Journal on Minority and Group Rights, Vol. 13, No. 2-3, pp. 131-139, 2006
9 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2010 Last revised: 24 Sep 2010
Date Written: 2006
This special issue of the International Journal of Minority and Group Rights contains articles based on research by contributors to the project ‘Accommodating Difference. Human Rights, Citizenship and Identity in Diverse Societies’. It is a cross-disciplinary project based at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights at the University of Oslo in collaboration with Christian Michelsen’s Institute, Bergen and with core funding from the Norwegian Research Council. The articles included in this issue explore whether, how and under what conditions human rights may affect the establishment and stability of non-unitary political orders that encompass populations sharply divided along ethnic, national, religious or linguistic lines. Such population segments are often constituted as legal subjects or political categories in contemporary states. In many cases the position and rights of such collectivities are not considered problematic and do not challenge political stability. In other cases inter-group tensions or conflicts between groups and state authorities may threaten the integrity of states, the fundamental rights of minorities or groups, and in some instances affect regional or international peace and stability. The articles focus on the question of whether human rights that seek to protect the integrity and sustainability of societal sub-units organized along socio-cultural divisions, assist or hinder the realization of the objectives stated in the relevant human rights conventions: a just, lawful and peaceful order and self-determination for all peoples. The project thus brings a human rights perspective to bear on the challenges of just accommodation in multi-level political orders, bringing together two topics that has lately received much attention.
Keywords: human rights, citizenship, identity
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