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Essentialising Territory in Identity Politics

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Temporal continuity (Leman 2000) leads to distinctive 'language and territory ... Holton (1998) and Leman (2000) speak of specific migrant ethnicity, not rooted ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Essentialising Territory in Identity Politics


1
Essentialising Territory in Identity Politics
  • Dr. Marc Verlot and prof. Gunther Dietz

2
Creating a double track in identity politics
  • Growing critique on corporate multiculturalism
    leading to parallel lives
  • is sustained by double track in identity
    politics, i.e. differentiating between
    indigenous or historical groups and immigrant
    groups
  • Creates two different sets of rights
  • Rests on essentialised meaning of territory

3
Overview
  • Identity politics in Flanders and Andalucía
  • Looking at European initiatives
  • The naturalisation of difference in social
    sciences
  • Different processes different rights?

4
1. Flanders and Andalucía on a double track
  • regional identity has become a domain of
    government policies
  • Regions assert their identity in face of
    devolution and recentralisation towards Europe
  • Track 1 Based on native history, language and
    culture intended to reflect and support regional
    civil society
  • Track 2 multicultural policies towards
    immigrants and their descendants

5
Building a Flemish identity
  • Directed at native inhabitants, speaking Dutch
  • From 1995 set up a huge identity building
    project Flanders 2002 refers to 1302, where
    Flemish citizens defeated French royal army
  • glorification of the past, emphasis on
    entrepreneurship of Flemish, reproduction and
    adaptation of symbols (flag, hymn, buildings,
    literature, etc.)
  • International renowned Flemish artists were
    subsidised to work as cultural ambassadors for
    Flanders

6
Multicultural Flanders
  • multicultural programme to promote cultures from
    immigrants in education, welfare and culture
    sector
  • Meant to help minorities integrate in Flemish
    society
  • Totally separate and not involved in Flanders 2002

7
Constructing an Andalucían Identity
  • Coalition of Andalucían politicians, academics
    and artists assembled in the Foro Andalucía 2000
  • Using key elements such as gypsy flamenco music,
    catholicism, the Moorish heritage of Al-Andalus
    to assert modern tolerant image
  • This autonomous community is shaped by the
    heritage of the three cultures, of the
    Christians, the Muslims and the Jews

8
2. Europe creating indigenous and immigrant
minority rights
  • Charter of Regional or Minority Languages in 1992
  • European Commission developed programme for the
    protection of the historical regional or minority
    languages of Europe
  • Protects and sustains Sardinian, Frisian,
    Breton,
  • However excludes languages of migrants such as
    Turkish or Arabic (which are numerically far more
    important) because of lack of historical link
    with territory
  • The development of minority rights by the Council
    of Europe
  • Working group since the 60s
  • Ad hoc applied by OSCE to new members, not to
    existing members
  • Applies only to historical minorities, leaves out
    immigrant minorities

9
Discrimination between historical and migrant
minorities
  • Belgium grants minority rights ( including own
    parliament and government) to 60.000 Germans
    120.000 Moroccans or 80.000 Turkish have no right
    to vote
  • Andalucía deals differently with Gitanos and
    Moroccans
  • Based on link with territory, but territoriality
    nowhere defined
  • How long before a migrant minority becomes a
    historical minority 327,5 years or 327,6 years?

10
3. Essentialising Territory
  • Kymlicka (1995) most well known author to argue
    for different rights between native and immigrant
    minorities
  • European context very different no natives or
    aboriginals as such
  • Some social scientists in Europe make a
    theoretical distinction between processes of
    identity formation based on relationship with
    territory

11
Naturalising difference in social sciences
  • Temporal continuity (Leman 2000) leads to
    distinctive language and territory ideology
    (Myhill 1999) among historical minorities
  • Holton (1998) and Leman (2000) speak of specific
    migrant ethnicity, not rooted in past, but future
    oriented, more focused on substantialisation of
    community in present ignoring territory and
    historical roots

12
4. Different processes different rights?
  • Processes of identity formation not inherently
    different, but applied differently in context
  • Examples of territorialisation between migrant
    communities mosques, headscarves, Moorish legacy
    and new migrants
  • No basis for granting different rights
  • Theory of different etnogenesis leads to creation
    of separate cultures and legitimises segregation
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