Minority Narratives and National Memory by Cora Alexa Døving and Nicolas Schwaller, eds.
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Most modern states are legally obligated, through international human rights treaties and/or domestic legislation, to protect the rights of minorities living within those states. However, the implementation of such protections raises a number of questions: (1) Who, exactly, constitutes a minority population? For example, should sexual orientation be recognized alongside race, ethnicity, and religion as markers of minority status, even if those of such non-majority orientations belong to majoritarian groups of other kinds? (2) Does the state have a legitimate interest in advancing some form of common cultural identity? (3) What is the role of education in protecting minority rights?
Collecting the contributions from a 2008 conference in Oslo, Norway, Minority Narratives and National Memorytackles these questions and more. In her forward, Esther Benbassa opens by noting that “nationalism reinvented nations and, along with them, minorities; these were now seen as exogenous, even if they...