Call for Applications: 2023 Global Minority Rights Summer School
Global Minority Rights Summer School (GMRSS) 2023:
Decolonization and Minority Rights
July 10—15, 2023
The Tom Lantos Institute (TLI), the University of Public Service (Budapest), and the Human Rights Consortium (School of Advanced Study, University of London) invite applications for the eleventh Global Minority Rights Summer School. The theme of the 2023 Summer School is Decolonisation and Minority Rights.
In the vast majority of modern states, minority protection is connected to colonial rule. However, the nexus between the two is under-researched and poorly understood, and as a result, often ignored. Following decolonization and the creation of sovereign states, many minorities found themselves in hostile new states. Post-colonial states often marginalized minority groups while simultaneously justifying such marginalization in the name of national unity, egalitarianism, and economic development. In other words, decolonization and the establishment of sovereign nation-states did not necessarily lead to respect for minority rights. International legal protection of minorities itself is marred by the discipline’s own colonial legacies and imperial ambitions. Conventionally, the history of international minority protection is narrowed down to Europe, and the origins of multilateral minority protection is attributed to the minority treaties of Central and Eastern Europe under the League of Nations. The fact that these norms were established in order to consolidate the emerging system of equal sovereign nation states in the context of empires and of a deeply racialized international order is often overlooked. Similarly, the conventional narrative ignores the minority protection provisions put forward under the framework of the League’s Mandate System, which was put in place to manage the territories of the former German and Ottoman Empires in a semi-colonial way. Furthermore, unlike the Indigenous rights and Afro-descendant rights movements, which were largely grounded in the decolonization framework, the evolution of minority protection norms in the United Nations is disconnected from the process of decolonization that took place and shaped the emergence of human rights in the UN. Many of the rights contained in the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious, and Linguistic Minorities, the UN’s only minority-specific human rights instrument, are drawn from and embedded in general human rights treaties. Nevertheless, the nexus between the Genocide Convention, the International Covenant on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, and international minority rights is also rarely discussed.
The 2023 Summer School will focus on these neglected and complex connections between decolonization processes and the evolution of international norms for the protection of minorities. By critically engaging with these connections, the Summer School is designed to offer participants new perspectives on the protection of minorities.
This unique, global summer school offers participants the opportunity to interact and discuss with leading experts in the field.
The summer school will bring together internationally-known experts, activists, policy makers, civil society representatives, academics, and other key stakeholders in a one-week interactive program. In addition to theoretical knowledge, participants will gain valuable practical skills for engaging with the global governance structures of minority rights. Participants will also be given an opportunity to make presentations on relevant subjects of interest to them.
The Summer School will host approximately 30 participants from around the world, and provide participants the opportunity to gain theoretical knowledge and practical skills from leading experts and practitioners in the field of international human rights law, political science, international relations, economics, and journalism.
- Provide a critical overview of the normative framework governing the rights of minorities at the international and regional levels;
- Explore recent processes in the international minority protection regime and opportunities to engage with it;
- Discuss key themes and issues, and challenge accepted approaches related to decolonization and international minority rights;
- Explore the roles that various international and regional mechanisms play in addressing minority rights and issues related to decolonization;
- Examine case studies related to specific minority groups and issues related to the issue of decolonization and minority rights;
- Moderate discussions to allow participants to express their views and debate the issues.
Students participating in the Summer School will:
- Learn from leading experts, academics, and practitioners in the field;
- Explore current norms, issues, and challenges related to minority rights and decolonization;
- Discuss and understand the roles that international and regional mechanisms, civil society,
and other actors play in the protection of the rights of minorities;
- Examine case studies related to specific minority groups and issues related to decolonization and minority rights;
- Discuss key minority rights issues, share their experiences, and learn from colleagues with a variety of backgrounds and opinions;
- Gain important practical skills in advocacy and analysis to strengthen their capacity to participate in minority protection mechanisms and processes.
The tuition fee is 150 Euros.
Financial support is available for a limited number of participants. Please find the details below.
To apply, fill in the application form, save it with the following name: 2023GMRSS_lastname_firstname, and submit it to email@example.com. Please do not send any other documents. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.
The deadline for applying is Friday, March 17, 2023, 18:00 p.m. CET. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application as soon as possible following the deadline.
Who should participate?
- MA and PhD students who wish to acquire knowledge and skills beneficial for their future careers in academia or in practice-oriented professions;
- Public servants, decision-makers, teachers in higher education institutions and journalists with an interest in minority rights, diversity, equality, and relevant international law;
- Members of civil society organizations, practitioners;
- Everyone who is interested in recent developments, current theories and advanced training in the field of minority protection.
A strong command of English is required.
Information about previous Global Minority Rights Summer Schools is available here. In addition, videos from previous years are available at this link.
The following types of financial support are offered by TLI:
- Full scholarships to cover the tuition fee and travel to Budapest.
- Partial scholarships to cover the tuition fee.
- Accommodation is provided to all participants on the campus of the University of Public Service in Budapest.
Applicants for scholarships must have:
- A proven current interest or work in the field;
- A strong motivation to improve their understanding and skills;
- Demonstrated plans for future activities or a career that would utilize the knowledge, contacts, and skills acquired.
We strongly encourage people belonging to national or ethnic, linguistic, religious or racialized minorities, as well as Indigenous people to apply for the Summer School.
Location and Institutions
The Summer School is organized by the Tom Lantos Institute (TLI), the University of Public Service (Budapest), and the Human Rights Consortium (School of Advanced Study, University of London).
The summer school will be held in-person at the University of Public Service (Budapest). Preparatory information and learning materials will be available via an online learning platform. Some guest lectures will be delivered in a hybrid format.