Disclosing and dismantling the “minority problem” : the experience of the German linguistic minority in Italy

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Cinta Narvaez, Ana Luisa
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Contemporary societies are comprised of diverse, varied and heterogeneous entities at local, subnational, regional, national and international level. Minorities are part of that diversity. However, these groups have traditionally been perceived as a threat for the homogeneity, stability and unity of societies. Their official recognition has been neglected and the right of persons belonging to minorities have not been effectively guaranteed. This thesis outlines the reasons for this negative attitude towards these groups and presents some mechanisms and strategies that can be useful to dim the “minority problem”. An effective legal and political framework is fundamental to protect the rights of minorities and persons belonging to them. The participation of a greater number of actors involved in the accommodation of their needs and rights in diverse societies is also a key element for achieving this task, so both elements will be succinctly analysed. The experience of the German linguistic minority in Italy is offered as a model for demonstrating that minorities are not inevitably a burden and how effective legislation and policies to protect their rights can contribute to building and consolidating the pacific coexistence in diverse societies.
Second semester University: University of Ljubljana.
linguistic minorities, Italy, minority groups, minority rights