Integration as Conflict Prevention: Possibilities and Limitations in the experience of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Franzisca Zanker 1 In the world there are between 6,500 and 10,000 different ethnic identities. 2 These identities do not always conform to state boundaries, which has led to an understanding that people must learn to live in peace and harmony despite ethnic, cultural, linguistic, religious and social differences, as societies become increasingly diverse. Unfortunately, this is often not the case and identity-related grievances still remain a primary cause of conflict to this day. It is therefore of interest whether integration programmes in multi-ethnic states can lead to the prevention of conflict. At the outset, it should be noted that the term integration is given entirely different interpretations by diverse scholars, organisations and even states. Over time, definitions and understandings of integration have proliferated, making matters even more complicated. According to this author integration should be defined as the accommodation of differences . This notion understands that diversity and plurality exists within a community, and that mechanisms must be put into place in order to support an ongoing process providing for the integration of a multi- ethnic society. Mechanisms include
Security and Human Rights – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2010
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