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Queen's University
 

Multiculturalism Policies in Contemporary Democracies

Decision Rules

This index examines regionally concentrated groups that exhibit significant forms of nationalist consciousness and mobilization. Such groups contain sizeable political parties or social movements which define the group as a nation within the larger state, and which mobilize to achieve recognition of their nationhood, either in the form of an independent state or through enhanced territorial autonomy within the larger state.

We focus on sizeable groups and have, somewhat arbitrarily, set the minimum size for inclusion at 100,000 people.

For countries where more than one national minority is examined, scoring is based on the minority with the highest level of accommodation.

1. Federal or quasi-federal territorial autonomy
Yes: The division of power between the central state and the constituent units (provinces, regions, etc.) is enshrined in the constitution or otherwise guaranteed by the central state, and the territory of the national minority corresponds to one or many constituent unit(s) of the state so as to provide some form of minority autonomy.

Partially:

The central state is supreme but delegates powers to sub-national units, including legislative and financial powers, through a process of decentralization, and the territory of the national minority corresponds to one or many constituent unit(s) of the state so as to provide some form of minority autonomy.
No: The central state is supreme and does not delegate powers to sub-national units, which perform administrative functions at most.
2. Official language status, either in the region or nationally
Yes: The minority language is granted official or national language status in the region or nationally. The minority language has equal footing with the majority language.
Partially: The minority language does not have full official language status, but is granted some level of recognition as a protected language in legislative documents or treaties. The minority language does not have equal footing with the majority (official) language.
No: The minority language is denied support or recognition by the central and regional governments.
3. Guarantees of representation in the central government or on constitutional courts
Yes: The electoral rules have been adapted to better recognize or accommodate national minorities and ensure their representation in the central government. For example, one or more seat(s) may be reserved for a member of the minority population, or electoral districts may be drawn so that the minority population form a majority in a constituency. Seats may be reserved on constitutional courts for members of the national minority.
Partially: No formal rules have been adopted to ensure the representation of national minorities in the central government or on constitutional courts, but there are informal practices of including national minorities in those positions. For example, by tradition, governments may include at least one minister from among the representatives of the minority.
No: The electoral rules have not been adapted to ensure the representation of the minority nation in the central government. No mechanism ensures the presence of members of the minority on constitutional courts.
4. Public funding of minority-language universities/schools/media
Yes: There is full public funding of minority-language education and media. This funding can be provided either by the central state or the regional government.
Partially: There is public funding of minority-language education or media, but this is marginal or limited. This funding can be provided either by the central state or the regional government.
No: There is no public funding of minority-language education or media. However, there could be private funding of minority-language education or media.

Note: In an earlier version of the Index, the presence (or absence) of Sunday-closing legislation was evaluated as part of this indictor. Although a number of countries were found have provisions that allow shops to open and close on days of their choosing, it was often not clear whether such policies were a response to multiculturalism, or other – often economic – considerations. As such, this measure has been excluded from this version of the index.

5. Constitutional or parliamentary affirmation of “multinationalism”
Yes: The plurinational character of the country (or the existence of two or more nations on the state’s territory) has been recognized in the constitution or in other official documents adopted by the parliament.
Partially: The parliament does not recognize the existence of more than one nation (the majority nation), but recognizes that minority groups have a distinct status (e.g., as “communities,” “regions” or “linguistic minorities”) that gives them special group rights.
No: There is no recognition of the existence of national minorities in the country. The constitution and the parliament refer to only one nation, that of the state’s majority population.
6. Accorded international personality
Yes:

Minority nations have been accorded an international personality through one or more of the following:

  • Minorities have legislative competence on the international scene in their areas of internal competences (constitutionally or de facto)
  • Minorities have authority to sign bilateral or multilateral treaties
  • Minorities can be represented on international bodies or have their own delegations abroad
  • Minorities have their own team at the Olympics and other international sporting events.
Partially: Minorities are consulted by the state when it comes to making policy decisions on the international scene but cannot make unilateral decisions on matters in their areas of internal competence. Minorities can be represented on international bodies or have their own delegations abroad, but under the authority of the central state. Minorities have their own team at regional sporting events.
No: The central state has full competence over international affairs, including the signing of bilateral and multilateral treaties, participation in international organizations and representation abroad. Minorities do not have separate sports teams at international events.

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