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Rethinking the concept of effective participation: Are minorities similar to women?

Author(s): Reetta Toivanen

Journal: Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe
ISSN 1617-5247

Volume: 9;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: participation | minorities | critical theory | minoritization | Europe

The slogan ‘participation of minorities’ has long been a powerfulconcept in the vocabulary of human rights activists. Today it is alsoembraced by politicians and other actors promoting democraticdevelopments in European societies. Those who propagate the conceptof ‘effective participation of minorities in public life’ stress howimportant it is to include potential victims of discrimination from a very early stage within the decision making processes that affect their lives. In fact, proponents argue that allowing minorities to participate in a full and effective manner in societal power structures is the solution to overcoming discrimination and inequality. This concept is becoming increasingly widespread, especially in legal and other materials developed by intergovernmental organizations.
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