Call for Papers: ‘Europeanisation of minority policies in the EU and its neighbourhood: from diffusion to differentiated integration, to disintegration?’

Call for Papers:
‘Europeanisation of minority policies in the EU and its neighbourhood: from diffusion to differentiated integration, to disintegration?’
Annual Research Symposium 2015, CRN Centrifugal Europe
Queen’s University Belfast, 6-8 March 2015

Minority rights remain one of the most problematic and sensitive areas for reform both within and beyond the European Union (EU). Despite the change promoted through Europeanisation pressures, in EU candidate and neighbourhood countries Europeanisation of minority rights remains a highly contested issue with policies varying across countries. Even though the protection of minorities and the improvement of minority rights were included in the 1993 Copenhagen Criteria as important pre-conditions for accession to the EU, minority rights remain a vaguely identified issue within the Union. There is no minority standard defined in the acquis or among the EU member states. Yet, we still observe policy convergence in candidate countries in different enlargement rounds and post-accession phases.

The Europeanisation phenomenon also travelled to the neighbourhood of the EU. Despite being more difficult for the EU to push Europeanisation in neighbourhood countries, we also observe positive change in minority protection in various neighbourhood countries, such as in Georgia. In the absence of membership prospects for the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) countries, such a development is puzzling. At the same time, in recent years, research of Europeanisation has emphasised diffusion mechanisms and differentiated integration to explain variation in outcome rather than the lack of precision in minority rights norms. Indeed, candidate and neighbourhood countries have remarkable leeway in deciding which aspects of European norms to adopt, and how to implement them. This raises questions about the role of the EU in policy convergence in candidate countries and the ENP and about the norms the EU endorses in practice.

Against this background, this conference explores the Europeanization of minority rights in ENP and enlargement countries (incl. Turkey, Western Balkans and previous accession countries) and asks whether we are witnessing the integration of minority rights norms in the wider Europe or in fact the opposite. Participants critically asses the role of the EU and other international and internal factors that may influence the Europeanization process with regard to minority protection in countries that experience Europeanization. Conference papers assess the extent to which the EU impacts Europeanization of minority rights, whether there is a role for other international institutions in promoting minority rights, and whether internal factors facilitate or constrain change in ENP countries.

Four distinguished keynote speakers will give talks at the conference: Dr Erin Jenne (CEU Budapest), Prof Ulrich Sedelmeier (LSE), Prof Florian Bieber (Graz) and Dr Guido Schwellnuss (Vienna/Zurich).

Submission: Please submit your paper proposal of max. 250 words and details (name, institutional affiliation, contact details) online at http://form.jotformeu.com/form/42413311567347. In case of any queries please contact both organisers: Ada Regelmann a.regelmann@qub.ac.uk and Timofey Agarin t.agarin@qub.ac.uk.

Timeline: Abstract submission by December 1, 2014
Confirmation of acceptance of paper by December 15, 2014
First draft submission by February 15, 2015