Cover Osteuropa 11/2007

In Osteuropa 11/2007

Ethnic, Religious, and National Minorities
Definitions and Status Options

Egbert Jahn

Deutsche Fassung


For a long time, ethnic, religious, and national minorities were seen by the majority as disruptive elements to be assimilated into a nation-state that was as homogenous as possible. In a few states, several minorities that have long been resident are considered to have the same rights as the majority; in others, they enjoy federal or autonomous status; and in many others, they face discrimination or oppression. New immigrants and naturalized minorities have fewer rights everywhere. The pattern of settlement and political-geographic position of ethnic minorities within states is of considerable sig-nificance for the level and type of eventual mobilization and radicalization within national movements. A differentiated range of definitions for types of minorities makes it easer to develop different options for the social, political, and legal interaction between majority and minorities.

(Osteuropa 11/2007, pp. 7–26)