Practice of minority protection in Central Europe
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Academic research on the protection of national minorities often begins and ends with a country-by-country analysis of the legal framework for protection. Very often, however, it is the implementation of legal rules by administrative authorities and courts which proves to be quite problematic. Based on two years of legal and empirical research, this book thus focuses on the discrepancies between law in the books and law in practice with regard to minority protection in six Central and South East European countries, namely Austria, Hungary, Italy, Romania, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, from a comparative perspective. Based on this comparative approach, the first part of the book provides a detailed assessment of the legal situation in six areas which are of key importance for an effective minority protection regime: culture, language use, media, education, economic and political participation. The second part follows this structure and presents the main empirical findings from each of these areas based on intensive field research in those six countries. In studying the results of this comprehensive research undertaking, the reader will become familiar with a summary of the most recent trends which are discernable in each of the analysed key areas in this part of Europe, including examples of good and bad practice. Moreover, the analyses also reveal the intimate links between the key areas and thereby prove that a comprehensive policy development for the protection of minorities has to take these interdependencies seriously. Finally, the set of recommendations as result of the empirical analyses offers an additional added value for practitioners working in international organisations, INGOS, national authorities and, not the least, representatives of national minorities themselves.