Migration in Sub-State Territories with Historical-Linguistic Minorities: Main Challenges and New Perspectives

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Abstract

Migration is an important reality for many sub-national autonomous territories where traditional-historical groups (so-called ‘old minorities’) live such as Flanders, Catalonia, South Tyrol, Scotland, Basque Country, and Quebec. Some of these territories have attracted migrants for decades, while others have only recently experienced significant migration inflow. The presence of old minorities brings complexities to the management of migration issues. Indeed, it is acknowledged that the relationship between ‘old’ communities and the ‘new’ minority groups originating from migration (so-called ‘new minorities’) can be rather complicated. On the one hand, interests and needs of historical groups can be in contrast with those of the migrant population. On the other hand, the presence of new minorities can interfere with the relationship between the old minorities and the majority groups at the state level and also with the relationship between old minorities and the central state as well as with the policies enacted to protect the diversity of traditional groups and the way old minorities understand and define themselves. The present lecture analyses whether it is possible to reconcile the claims of historical minorities and of new groups originating from migration and whether policies that accommodate traditional minorities and migrants are allies in the pursuit of a pluralist and tolerant society.

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