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SUMMER  2006

ASPP 553  Minorities in Europe

You can download or print the Word version of this syllabus here.


Instructor:                    PhDr. Laura Laubeová  & guest speakers

Time:                           Summer term Tuesday & Thursday  18:00 – 21:10


This course discusses and analyses major ethnic, racial, national, and religious minorities in contemporary Europe from a sociological, political, legal, historical and anthropological perspectives. It will look at broad range of topic such as inclusive citizenship, identity, conflict, migration, minority rights, international law, mority policy development and implementation. By using case studies, student will deepen their understanding of the status and condition of minorities in Europe, the roots of and solutions to ethnic conflict, and gradually changing European conceptions of citizenship and the multicultural state.








I.Theoretical framework


20 June Tuesday

Introduction to the course and terminology. Ethnicity, race, culture, identity, racism. Multiculturalism and identity politics

Video “Blue Eyed”


22 June Thursday

Liberal theory of Minority Rights, Myth on Neutrality of the State and Ethnocultural Justice . State response to minority groups requirements. Impact of Liberalism Communitarianism Debate - Mgr. Selma Muhic



II. Policy implications


27 June Tu

Legislative framework: international instruments


29 June Th

Definitions and forms of discrimination; institutional racism. Equal opportunity policy and positive action.

Migration Asylum Nexus


4 July Tu

Impact of the holocaust on current politics – Kim Strozewski


6 July Th




III. Minority Case study


11 July Tu

The Roma/ Gypsies/ Travellers   - political mobilisation on European level. Video “Romano Drom”


13 July Th

Field visit to Smíchov

The Decade of Romani Inclusion (Gabriela Hrabaňová)


16 July Su




IV. Country Case studies


18 July Tu

The Czech Republic response to Diversity.

Field research - reports and evaluation


20July Th

Multiethnic Britain and “fading” multiculturalism in the Netherlands


25 July Tu

Student Presentations


27 July Th

2007 Equality Summit, the European year of Equal Opportunities for All. National Strategies in EU 25. Summary and conclusions.


Aims of the Course and Teaching Objectives

The principles of equality, non-discrimination, observance of human rights and protection of ethnic minorities are fundamental European values. Ethnic discrimination in its various forms and manifestations has been made illegal through the recent EU anti-discrimination directives, recognising that it is harmful to the social and educational development of individuals and to Europe as a whole.  It can lead to marginalised and socially excluded groups, unemployment and poverty in ghettoised districts and negatively influence already disadvantaged regions. One of the traditionally most severely marginalized and excluded groups have been the Roma, Gypsies, and Travellers.

The course aims to explain reasons behind prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination against these ethnic groups and to introduce students to public and social policy measures dealing with these negative phenomena at the global, European and national levels.



Course structure

The course will be composed of 11 lectures followed by discussions-cum-seminars.

The first part of the course provides theoretical background to the study of minorities in Europe It explains the terminology used in relation to this topic and the controversies associated with it. It provides a closer look at the liberal framework of multiculturalism and complements it with communitarian aspects while the concept of ethnocultural justice is presented and analysed.

The second part deals with impact of some of the concepts on policy development and implementation. It also provides an overview on international minority and human rights law and European legal instruments. Then it investigates the migration - asylum nexus and finally it deals with impact of history, namely holocaust, on current European politics.

The third part is dedicated to a case study of one of the most vulnerable minorities in Europe, the Roma. An important component of this part of the course is field visit carried out in a Romani community and a Romani NGO in Prague 5. In preparation for the actual field visit, students will have mastered introduction to elementary research methods which are used in collecting information about negatively privileged groups (in-depth interviewing, participant observation etc.). Students will also learn how to evaluate and present fieldwork limitations and limitations of national statistics related to Romani people (including the manipulative aspects of the presentation of these statistics by national institutions). Lastly, the students will learn to use research confidence-building measures for the purposes of data collection, interviews and participant observation.

The fourth part is looking in more detail on the specific conditions of minorities and the policy and practice towards them in selected countries. The Czech case study exemplifies the situation in Central Europe, the case studies of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands are selected as an example of a Western European situation and approach.  Students are expected to present an overview of the situation of minorities in their countries of origin or they can select another country according to their choice. Finally, the course will look at European future, namely events planned for the following year, as well as at the impact of globalisation/ regionalisation on European minorities.



Student assessment in this course comprises of four components:

Three written AQCI’s                                                                                                    30%

Written field visit report  (up to 2,000 words, due 16 July 2006)  or a final essay (up to 3,000 words)  30%

Oral presentation                                                                                                           30%

Attendance and seminar participation                                                                        10%


AQCI: Argument, Question, Connections, and Implications[1]

For each discussion-cum-seminar three students will be required to prepare a single sheet of A4 relating to ONE article from the reading list for that particular week’s topic in the format of AQCI. All students will be required to pick three ACQI articles from three different weekly reading lists (i.e. one article from each of the three chosen weeks). Although only three AQCI’s per person will be marked, students may wish to prepare one AQCI every week in order to structure their thinking about the topic. 

The structure of a written AQCI should be as follows (i.e. you should keep the numbered paragraph structure):

1.CENTRAL QUOTATION. Quote a sentence (or excerpts from linked sentences) from the text that you think is central to the author's (or authors') implicit or explicit argument(s). Always cite the page.

2. ARGUMENT. In a few sentences, state the author's explicit or implicit argument. Be sure to include both: what the author is arguing for, and what s/he is arguing against (if applicable).

3. QUESTION. Raise a question which you think is not fully, or satisfactorily, answered by the text. The question should be a question of interpretation or of inquiry, not simply a question of fact.

4. EXPERIENTIAL CONNECTION. Say, in a few lines only, how the argument confirms or contradicts your own experience or common sense.

5. TEXTUAL CONNECTION. Connect the argument of this text to an argument or point you find in another reading assignment covered in this course or one you have picked up from earlier study at the university or elsewhere. Present a quote from the other text (citing it properly), and explain how the present text's argument contrasts with, contradicts, confirms, clarifies, or elaborates the other text's argument or point.

6. IMPLICATIONS. Lay out what this argument (#2 above) implies for understanding or improving society, relations between individuals, or groups (e.g. ethnic, national, etc.) or any facet of social or cultural reality (a few sentences only). In your opinion, can these implications have a practical impact on policy making and if so, how?

AQCIs should not exceed one typed page. They should be typed or word-processed, proofread and printed with the same degree of care as essays.


Written field visit report

Students are required to produce a short report (one page) from their participant observation notes and to be prepared to share it with the rest of the class. 

If a student is unable to participate in the field visit she/he is expected to deliver an essay up to 3,000 words on an agreed topic.

Reports or essays should be e-mailed to laubeova@fsv.cuni.cz by 16th July 2006.


Standardized marking procedure

All written work will be graded using standard marking sheets to ensure consistency and fairness. The sample sheets can be found in the reader.


Rewrites policy: As a part of our aim to help students develop critical thinking and written communication skills, students will have the opportunity to rewrite their AQCIs and essays if they are not happy with their grade but only if they submit them at the latest one week in advance of the official deadline.


Attendance and seminar participation

All students are expected to be fully familiar with every week’s required readings and bring to class their own considered questions and reactions to the material. The seminar discussion is intended to enable you to develop your understanding of the readings and to exchange ideas with others and your attendance and participation in the seminar will be reflected in your grade.

Quiz questions will be submitted to students on a regular basis during the course to check whether students completed assigned required readings for the given week. Students will be expected to reply in written to one or two open ended questions in each quiz. These questions may also serve as discussion topics therefore students should be prepared to argue orally as well.


Course Website

All relevant course materials, including this syllabus, can be found on the course website: http://minorities.fsv.cuni.cz/ASPP553/index.htm  which will be updated weekly. Majority of lectures will be delivered in the form of Power Point slide presentations which will also be placed on the website for your convenience.


Course outline and compulsory readings:


Session 1 (20th June 2006): Introduction to the course and terminology


Session 2: Terminology – cont. : Ethnicity, race, culture, identity, racism

Eriksen, T. H.: “Ethnicity, Race, Class and Nation “, text 4, in Hutchinson, John, Smith Anthony, eds. (1996) Ethnicity, Oxford- New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 28-31

Van den Berghe, Pierre: “Does race matter?”, text 9, in Hutchinson (above), pp. 57-63

Cornell, Stephen, Hartmann, Douglas (1998) Ethnicity and Race. Making Identities in a Changing World, Pine Forge Press/A Sage Publication Company, text on The definition of race, pp 21- 43, 68-69

Richmond, Anthony (1994) Global Apartheid, Toronto: Oxford University Press (pp.1-45) on power, conflict, identity (good description of race and ethnicity)


Liberal theory of Minority Rights, Myth on Neutrality of the State and Ethnocultural Justice. Guest speaker: Mgr. Selma Muhic

Birch, Anthony (1989) Nationalism and National Integration, London: Unwin Hyman Ltd, chapter 4: National integration, pp. 36-51 – classical text on integration!

Brubacker, Rogers, “Civic and ethnic nations in France and Germany”, text 28. in Hutchinson, John, Smith Anthony, ed. (1996) Ethnicity, Oxford - New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 168-173

Kymlicka, Will (2001)” Western Political Theory and Ethnic Relations in Eastern Europe”, in Kymlicka, Will, Opalski, Magda (eds.) Can Liberal Pluralism be Exported? Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.13 – 103

Recommended literature – not included in the reader:
Kymlicka, Will (2001) Politcs in the Vernacular, Oxford University Press, Oxford

Cole, Phillip (2000) Philosophies of Exclusion, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh

Bauböck, Rainer, Rundell, John (Eds.) (1998) Blurred Boundaries: Migration, Ethnicity, Citizenship, European Center Vienna and Ashgate, Ashgate

Taylor, Charles, Gutmann, Amy (ed.) (1994) Multiculturalism, Princeton University Press, Princeton


Session 3:  Multiculturalism, identity and politics

Malik, Kenan (1996) The Meaning of Race, London: Macmillan, “The meaning of Multicilturalism”, pp.169-177, and “The West and its Others´”, pp.221-226

Rex, John (2001) “The concept of a multicultural society” in Guibernau, Montserrat and Rex, John (eds): The Ethnicity reader, Nationalism, Multiculturalism and Migration, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, pp. 205-220

Kuper, Leo (2001) “Plural Societies” in Guibernau (above)

Benhabib, Seyla (2002) The Claims of Culture. Equality and Diversity in the Global Era. Princeton, USA- Woodstock, UK: Princeton University Press, preface plus pp. 1-48

Legislative framework: international instruments

Thornberry, Patrick (2001)” An Unfinished Story of Minority Rights” in  Bíró, A.M. and Kovács, P (eds) Diversity in Action, Budapest. LGI/OSI, pp.47-73

Framework convention for the protection of national minorities in in Bíró, A.M. and Kovács, P (eds) Diversity in Action, Budapest. LGI/OSI, pp.75-81

The  ERRC letter to Dr. Petra Buzková of 26 March 2003

Equality legislation in UK/ Scotland – a handout


Session 4: Definitions and forms of discrimination; institutional racism. Migration Asylum Nexus

EU race equality directive "Implementing the Principle of Equal Treatment Between Persons Irrespective of Racial or Ethnic Origin" Directive 2000/43/EC (adopted on 29 June 2000)

Parekh, Bhikhu (2000) Rethinking Multiculturalism: Chapter 7: The Political Structure of Multicultural Society


Session 5:  Impact of holocaust on current policies – Kim Strozewski

Lewy, Guenter (2000).  “Introduction, A History of Oppression and Maltreatment” in The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1-14.

Nečas, Ctibor (2003). “The Extermination of European Roma” in Horváthová, ed. Le Romengo Murdaripen andro dujto baro mariben (The Genocide of Roma during the World War Two). Praha: Slovo 21, 123-125.

Stankiewicz, Stanislaw (2003). “A Forgotten Holocaust” in in Horváthová, ed. Le Romengo Murdaripen andro dujto baro mariben (The Genocide of Roma during the World War Two). Praha: Slovo 21, 158-163.

Kenrick, Donald (1999). “The Nazi Persecution of Roma and Sinti—What We Know and What We Don’t Yet Know,” in Blodig, ed. The Holocaust Phenomenon, Conference Report of The International Scientific Conference: 145-149.

Blumaier, Aloise (1999). “How I Managed to Survive It All,” in Pro Memoria 10, Informational Bulletin of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the Foundation to Commemorate the Victims of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camp: 77-80.


Session 6: Case Study :The Roma/ Gypsies/ Travellers

Okely, Judith (1997) “Some political consequences of theories of Gypsy ethnicity. The place of the intellectual”  in James, Alisson et al. (eds) After Writing Culture. Epistemology and Praxis in Contemporary Anthropology, London: Routledge

UNDP (2003) The Roma in Central and Eastern Europe, UNDP. http://roma.undp.sk

World Bank (2003) The Roma Page, www.worldbank.org/roma

Hancock, Ian (2000) “The Consequences of Anti-Gypsy Racism in Europe” in Other Voices. The (e)Journal of Cultural Criticism, v. 2, n.1 (February 2000), http:// www.othervoices.org/2.1/hancock/roma.html

Templer, Bill (2006). Neoliberal Strategies to Defuse a Powder Keg in Europe: the "Decade of Roma Inclusion" and its Rationale, New Politics 40, Vol X, No4, Winter 2006, http://www.wpunj.edu/~newpol/issue40/Templer40.htm.

Other readings are placed at http://romaonline.fsv.cuni.cz/


Session 7: Field visit

Hancock, Ian (2002). We are the Romani people. Hatfield: University of Hertfordshire Press, pp. 103-110 (”How to interact with Romanies: Some suggestions”).

 Okely, Judith (1999).”Writing Anthropology in Europe: an example from Gypsy research.” In Folk 41, pp. 55-75.


Session 8-11:  Country Case studies

TBA (readings will be placed on the internet)




[1] This method was developed by Michael Stewart and we thank him for allowing us to use it.


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