1887
Volume 46, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0272-2690
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9889
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Abstract

Abstract

This article outlines the approach of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities to matters related to the use of language, assessing its consistency. Language is a major identity marker and as such can become a contentious issue in multi-ethnic societies. Questions revolving around the use of language can catalyse fights around distribution of power within States. They can also become a source of conflict and tensions between States, requiring the attention of international organizations such as the OSCE. Conversely, sound language policies can be instrumental in defusing tensions and strengthen the cohesion of diverse societies. Since its inception thirty years ago, the HCNM has devised a framework for developing balanced language policies as an instrument for conflict prevention. In the HCNM experience, the promotion and use of minority languages needs to be balanced by the adoption and promotion of one or more official languages. The article argues that the HCNM approach relies on the ‘positive’ securitization of linguistic rights, and proves that through its thematic recommendations the HCNM has embarked on a mission of addressing languages and minorities through inclusion and integration, as an approach to build a win-win model of global and regional security.

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2022-11-17
2022-12-08
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): conflict prevention; human rights; human security; integration; language policies
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