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Old and New Criteria for the Governance of Political and Economic Structures on the Basis of the Bible and the Quran

Abstract

This study presents a sociological analysis of the Holy Books of two world religions (the Bible and the Quran) since, according to prognoses and risk analyses, a political, economic, cultural, and religious confrontation between the world religions will be unavoidable. Special economic and political aspects also contribute to the up-to-datedness of the topic in the democratic world; in fact: the economic crisis at the beginning of the 21st century, the difficulties of managing the crisis with traditional micro- and macroeconomic tools as well as the Europe-wide issue of migration processes. These challenges have directed our attention to alternative economic solutions and policy options, including theories on ethical basis. Modern academic discourse has recently started to direct research at leadership skills as acknowledged forms of talent. The priority of moral talent is never disputed in the Bible and the Quran, more so by certain leaders holding political or economic positions.

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On the Track of the Szekler Village Tízes The Model-Like Potential of the Szekler Village Tízes on the Eve of the 21st Century

Abstract

The object of this study is the existence of the village tízes (organization in structures by ten) as space-specific elements in Szeklerland and the social problems at the turn of the centuries (involving the population, the community, the culture, and the economy). The study is the result of a historical-geographical survey of the cultural space in Szeklerland within a larger research. The main purpose is to make an attempt to form a historical, system-based perspective, make people aware of the material and spiritual value of the Szekler tízes as well as contribute to the subsistence of the tízes and the reinterpretation of the notion of value in the 21st century, using my own means and modalities. The subsistence of the Szekler village tízes is not required by the subsistence or restoration of the romantic, spiritual goods or the community organization but by the necessities of the entire community.

Open access
Politically Motivated Hungarian Migration to the Netherlands in (the Second Half of) the 20th Century: Data, Concepts, and Consequences

Abstract

This paper draws on an empirical research on the acculturation of Hungarian refugees in the Netherlands. After the bloody repression of the Hungarian uprising against the Soviet rule in 1956, approximately 200,000 people escaped Hungary. Out of them, 5,000 people started a new life in the Netherlands. Despite extensive documentation and memoirs, no systematic research exists on the fate of these Hungarians. With this research, we attempt to fill this knowledge gap by gaining insight into their integration path. By applying a qualitative–interpretative research method, we gathered personal narratives from Hungarian (‘ex-’) refugees in the Netherlands. We analyse their incorporation into the Dutch society according to various acculturation theories and discuss the (contextual) circumstances influencing these dynamics. The findings show that these Hungarians have successfully acculturated into the host society. They got entirely embedded in the institutional, sociocultural, and economic fabric of their new home country (assimilation) while also maintaining their original culture and identity (integration). Determining factors are the reception and opportunity structure in the host country, the refugees’ young age and willing attitudes to integrate, their grown hybrid identities as well as cultural compatibility.

Open access
Trilingual Internet Use, Identity, and Acculturation among Young Minority Language Speakers: Some Data from Transylvania and Finland

Abstract

The purpose of the present paper is to explore the dynamics of trilingual Internet use and its relation to minority language identity and acculturation among young Swedish speakers in Finland (N = 201) and Hungarian speakers in Transylvania (N = 388). Typically, a feature of linguistic minorities, trilingualism, provides speakers with the competence to move outside their original cultural realm, a feature that is rewarding at an individual level but may form a threat to the minority language culture. The results indicate in both contexts an extensive use of English alongside the minority language and a restricted amount of use of the majority language on the Internet. Majority language and English-language Internet use are strongly related to acculturation towards majority language speakers and English speakers in both contexts. Majority-language Internet use is significantly and negatively associated with minority language identity among participants in Transylvania but not among participants in Finland. Most interestingly, however, English-language Internet use is significantly and negatively related to minority language identity in both contexts. The findings and their theoretical implications are discussed.

Open access
Adaptation Strategies to Turkish Society of Europeans Married to Turkish Citizens

Abstract

Accelerated and increasingly complex patterns of international migration are correlated with the emergence of various types of transnational families and an ever-rising number of culturally and ethnically mixed couples. Once a typical emigration country, Turkey has recently been established as a transit and receiving society, where numerous Europeans settle due to emotional ties with Turkish citizens. This paper is based on a qualitative study of 10 mixed European-Turkish families based in Istanbul, carried out through in-depth interviews. The paper is divided into three parts. First, it examines the social characteristics of the research participants. Second, it analyses the reactions of family and friends to the mixed relationship. Third, it discusses four adaptation strategies of foreign partners to Turkish society – namely, integration, assimilation, separation, and marginalization.

Open access
Concepts of Citizenship in Eastern and Western Europe

Abstract

The classical meaning of citizenship evokes a nation-state with a well-defined territory for its nationals, where national identity and sovereignty play a key role. Global developments are challenging the traditional nation-state and open a new stage in the history of citizenship. Transnational citizenship involving dual and multiple citizenships has become more and more accepted in Europe. Numerous scholars envisaged a post-national development where the nation-state no longer plays a key role. While scholarly research tended to focus on developments in Western Europe, a dynamic development also took place in Eastern Europe following the collapse of communism. Dual citizenship was introduced in most Eastern European countries, but its purpose was to strengthen the nation by giving the ethnic kin abroad citizenship and non-resident voting rights. In Western Europe, the right of migrants to citizenship has been expanded throughout the years in the hope that this would result in their better integration into society. Eastern Europe and Western Europe operate with different concepts of citizenship because of their diverging historical traditions and current concerns. The concept of nation and who belong to the national community play a key role in the type of citizenship that they advocate.

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Old and New Minorities: Diversity Governance and Social Cohesion from the Perspective of Minority Rights

Abstract

Minority rights instruments have been traditionally applied to old minority groups. This paper examines to what extent these same instruments are conceptually meaningful to the integration of new minorities stemming from migration. The conviction that minority groups, irrespective of their being old or new minorities, have some basic common claims that can be subsumed under a common definition does not mean that all minority groups have all the same rights and legitimate claims: some have only minimum rights, while others have or should be granted more substantial rights; some can legitimately put forward certain claims – not enforceable rights – that need to be negotiated with the majority, while others should not. In order to devise a common but differentiated set of rights and obligations for old and new minority groups, it is essential to analyse the differences and similarities of both categories of minorities, their claims, needs, and priorities; in this way, it will be possible to delineate a catalogue of rights that can be demanded by and granted to different minority groups. Studying the interaction between traditional minorities and migrants or old and new minority groups is a rather new task because so far these topics have been studied in isolation from each other. It is also an important task for future research in Europe since many states have established systems for the rights of old minorities but have not as yet developed sound policies for the integration of new minority groups stemming from migration.

Open access
Understanding the Narratives Explaining the Ukrainian Crisis: Identity Divisions and Complex Diversity in Ukraine

Abstract

The central argument of this paper is that radical and opposing interpretations of the Ukrainian conflict in politics and media should be studied as offspring of broader narratives. These narratives can be better understood by examining the national identity of Ukraine. Since Ukrainian national identity shows a high degree of diversity, it offers a rich source of arguments for any party wanting to give an interpretation of the present Ukrainian crisis. Narratives explaining the crisis often ignore this complex diversity or deliberately use elements from it to construct the ‘desired’ narrative.

Firstly, this paper defines four overarching narratives used in the current debate: the geopolitical, the nationalist, the structuralist, and the legal narrative. Secondly, this paper shows how various interpretations fitting within these narratives are all one way or another related to the divisions dividing Ukraine’s complex national identity. Examining the underlying divisions helps to explain the appeal of differing interpretations of the conflict in the West, Ukraine, and Russia. Especially the nationalist narrative and geopolitical narratives show how the complexity of Ukraine’s national identity is deliberately used to construct a narrative.

The combined study of constructed narratives and Ukrainian national identity thus provides valuable material for any scholar or policymaker looking for a deeper understanding of the situation in Ukraine amidst a confusing information war.

Open access