About

Short description

The ELTE Minority Policy Programme is an international two-year postgraduate MA programme, which was established in 1993. The ELTE MSP is a special (English-language) interdisciplinary educational programme that aims to create an international community of students and lecturers. A core strength of the programme lies in a coordinated approach whereby theory, applied research, and intervention skills are joined together to provide a unique academic opportunity and a ‘training-ground’ for future minority policy experts. Extra-curricular activities have been designed to place students on various internships where they become acquainted with real-life minority situations, to offer field trips to various countries in and around the Central European and  Balkan regions, and to introduce students to an active research culture in a supportive environment. 

The Ethnic and Minority Policy Master Program dealing with minority issues and ethnic diversity in the region of Eastern and Central Europe with regard to the integration process of the countries of the region into the international community of the European Union. The serious ethnic conflicts of the region, the demand for countries to meet European norms in the area of minority issues, the increase in migration, and the simultaneous growth of xenophobia, anti-Semitism and homophobia, all contribute to a pressing need in Eastern and Central Europe for highly trained professionals who have the insight and expertise to identify the main political, social and psychological reasons behind tensions and discriminations, and who are also equipped with the skills and techniques to handle and moderate these conflicts. Thus, it is a key function of the Program to provide the expertise necessary for this effort in the concrete European space while on the other hand, much of the research analyses, the scientific methods, as well as the ‘Eastern and Central Europe experiences’ has relevance for those who study ethnicity, race, and majority-minority relations elsewhere in the world.

This program is recommended to applicants who wish to deal with minority issues and ethnic diversity. 

This program enables students to become trained professionals who have the insight and expertise to identify the main political, social and psychological reasons behind tensions and discriminations and who are also equipped with the skills and techniques to handle and moderate these conflicts.

Strengths of the programme

The modern principle of multiculturalism, protection of minority rights, equal opportunities, anti-discrimination, and new challenges of inter-cultural integration of modern societies request more and more academics who intend to carry out research, or teach about ethnic diversity and inter-ethnic relations. In post-industrial welfare societies there is a growing need for policy makers or expert advisors in issues and conflicts between regions, nations, ethnic groups, minorities, and majorities in Hungary or various parts of Europe. There is a considerable need for these types of professionals today, and this demand in the future will even increase as the historical legacy of Eastern and Central Europe, the renaissance of the national spirit, the intense immigration, and frequent ethnic and minority conflicts make the task of managing and reducing ethnic tensions more and more important. We expect that our graduates can find jobs in the different public or private agencies like in public (governmental) organizations and the minority self-governments, in public education, in research institutes, in the media, in civil organizations and NGOs, and in all such programs and projects that aims to promote the successful social and cultural integration of minorities into the dominant society.

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Territorial focus

We would like to place special emphasis on the issue of dealing with minority issues and diversity in the region with regard to the integration process of Central and Eastern European countries, the Balkans and the Mediterranean region into the international community. The serious ethnic conflicts of the region, the demand for countries to meet European norms in the area of minority issues, the increase in migration and the simultaneous growth of xenophobia all contribute to a pressing need in Central and Eastern Europe and in the Balkans for highly-trained professionals who have the insight and expertise to identify the main social and psychological reasons behind tensions and discrimination, and who are also equipped with the skills and techniques to handle and moderate these conflicts. Therefore,  a key objective of the Programme is to provide the expertise necessary for this within Europe. However, much of the research analysis and scientific methods, as well as the ‘Central European and Balkan experience’, are also relevant for those who study ethnic/race/majority-minority relations elsewhere in the world. Having international students on the Programme means that various viewpoints can evolve and therefore a specific balance of the student body is promoted.

Aims

  • To provide a systematic study of inter-ethnic relations, minority problems and processes in post-communist societies with a comparative perspective;
  • To examine the background to major trends in the economy, politics, society, social policy, social geography, and social psychology of the countries in the region;
  • To train future policy makers or expert advisors on issues and conflicts between regions, nations, ethnic groups, minorities, and majorities in various parts of Europe;
  • To train future scholars who intend to carry out research on or teach in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkan region;
  • To create an international community of students who speak English and predominantly come  from countries where there are significant problems relating to ethnic and minority relations;
  • To introduce students to basic skills which are necessary not only to understand but to intervene in inter-group conflicts likely to occur in ethnic communities, urban neighbourhoods, industrial workplaces, political organisations, trade unions, mass media, etc;
  • To place students on various internships according to their skills and specialisations where they can experience real-life minority situations (e.g. editorial boards of minority mass agencies, prisons, voluntary and self-help groups, local and public administrations dealing with minority issues and policies, ethnic and minority government organisations, research institutes, non-governmental organisations);
  • To encourage students to participate in research work (e.g. comparative research on national identity in neighbouring countries, analysis of the attitude of policemen towards Roma who are arrested, etc.)
  • To provide practical experience to accompany the theoretical framework introduced in the classroom.

Research opportunities

The programme offers unique research opportunities for students. Besides teaching activities, the Faculty has long been active in the organisation of research that addresses minority and identity issues, ethnic relations and diversity in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans, migration processes, and the problems of discrimination, xenophobia and social exclusion, all with the aim of including results in the context of European-level research. Research on these issues in Central and Eastern Europe or in the Balkan region is still fragmented and characterised by a lack of communication and information exchange. One of our main objectives is to promote the development of regional databases and a network of scholars, researchers and institutions. The rationale behind these efforts is not only to analyse conflicts, tensions and discrimination from an academic point of view, but also to contribute to the monitoring of conflicts, to provide the necessary expertise and knowledge in conflict resolution, to disseminate know-how, and to facilitate discourse and intensify cross-national communication. Another important objective is to translate research results into policy and practice. Most of our projects have a policy orientation. Furthermore, research proposals are developed to provide an impulse for both future research and teaching.

2018.04.26.