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Non-Territorial Autonomy: Reflections for Sápmi

Time Wednesday 25 May, 2022 at 13:00 - 15:30
Place Fatmomakke, NBET 4th floor

Welcome to Várdduo for a seminar followed by a reception.
The roundtable seminar will take place between 13.00 - 14.30, from 14.30 - 15.30 you are invited to join us for a reception with light refreshments in Várdduo’s lunch room, next to the conference room.

Non-Territorial Autonomy: Reflections for Sápmi 

Cultural Autonomy and effective political and socio-economic participation for national minorities and Indigenous peoples

In this roundtable seminar, David Smith, Federica Prina (The University of Glasgow) and Craig Willis (ECMI/Europa Universität Flensburg) will talk about Non-Territorial Autonomy and how it can relate to Sápmi.

Over the past four decades, Norway, Sweden and Finland have all sought to accommodate the claims of the Sámi people by introducing arrangements generally described as ‘non-territorial autonomy’ (NTA) or ‘cultural autonomy’. The same period has seen a more generalised growth of interest in the NTA model, which has formed the basis for national minority legislation adopted in several countries of Central and Eastern Europe (the region where the NTA concept originated during the late 19th century). NTA was originally understood as offering an ethnic community the possibility for self-determination and self-governance in the spheres of language and culture, without linking the exercise of this right to any designated territorial area within a wider state. Since the 1990s, however, international legal documents have framed NTA as one possible approach to ensuring that minority communities can enjoy effective participation in public life. At the same time, there is no clear, universally agreed definition of the term NTA, which is today used to describe a whole range of differing practices in operation across Europe and the world. How, then, should one evaluate this concept and measure its practical effectiveness, both in general terms and in the particular context of Sápmi? More broadly, what should be understood by ‘effective participation’ of national minorities and indigenous peoples? Until quite recently, debates on participation have tended to focus primarily on the political sphere; however, international organisations engaged with minority rights have increasingly recognised the importance of socio-economic participation and are today devoting additional attention to this area. The speakers will briefly present remarks addressing these themes, as a basis for a broader roundtable discussion.  

David J Smith is Professor of Russian and East European Studies at the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow, where he also edits the journal Europe-Asia Studies. Smith researches ethnic politics and minority issues in Central and Eastern Europe, with a particular focus on non-territorial autonomy, transnational minority activism and minority-kinstate relations. He is the author of Ethnic Diversity and the Nation State (Routledge 2012) and Estonia: Independence and European Integration (Routledge 2001) and has published extensively in leading international journals as well as editing or co-editing special issues of Ethnopolitics (2008 & 2021) Nationalities Papers (2020), Eurasian Geography and Economics (2021) and numerous collected volumes. He leads ENTAN’s Working Group on cultural identities and is a member of the Erasmus + Jean Monnet SECUREU Network (The Securitization of Migrants and Ethnic Minorities and the Rise of Xenophobia in the EU, 2020-2023). 
Federica Prina is Lecturer in Security Studies at the University of Glasgow’s Central and East European Studies (CEES), School of Social and Political Sciences. She has published widely on minority rights and inter-ethnic relations in the Russian Federation. She is a managing editor of the European Yearbook of Minority Issues and sits on the editorial board of Europe-Asia Studies. Previously, she was as Research Associate at the University of Glasgow for an ESRC-funded project on non-territorial autonomy and minority participation in Central and Eastern Europe (2014-2017), and a researcher at the European Centre for Minority Issues, Flensburg (2011-2013).  
Craig Willis is a Researcher at the ECMI, primarily focusing on minority language media across Europe as well as on the role of national minorities in socio-economic participation and regional development. His other research foci and past publications have covered topics such as universal basic income, the Minority SafePack Initiative, ethnic data collection. Currently he is writing his PhD at the Europa Universität Flensburg on the topic of minority language media and social attitudes towards minority languages, under the supervision of Prof. Monika Eigmüller and second supervisor Prof. Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Within this he was previously a Visiting Researcher at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, for the autumn semester 2021. Craig is also a member of the steering committee in the International Association for Minority Language Media Research. His previous studies include the double award MA / MSc European Studies at Europa Universität Flensburg and the University of Southern Denmark, plus also the BA Business Management from the University of Brighton, UK.

Event type: Seminar
Kristina Sehlin Macneil
Read about Kristina Sehlin Macneil