South Tyrol: a Model for All? The Other Face of Minority Accommodation
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SubjectSouth Tyrol; Autonomy; Consociationalism; Italian-speaking group; Hungarian Minority in Romania/Szeklerland
South Tyrol, an Italian province with a German-speaking population, a small Ladin community, and a sophisticated system to protect their cultural characteristics, is generally considered a model to deal with national minorities. This paper analyses the South Tyrolean system from the point of view of the national majority, the Italian-speakers living in the territory, who have evinced a so-called ‘uneasiness’ with their status in South Tyrol. Using various indicators, including voting patterns and surveys, the paper will investigate how the Italian speaking population has experienced the South Tyrol system to protect minorities. Moving beyond the tendency to discuss the accommodation of ethnic-linguistic diversity from the point of view of the minority, the paper shows that arrangements to deal with national minorities should be designed and deemed successful when also taking into account the needs of the majority population. These fi ndings are used to inform thinking on similar dilemmas facing the Hungarian community in Romania, especially in Szeklerland.
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