ISCI 2016

The 2nd International Symposium on Cultural Inclusion
and Cultural Security

ISCI 2016

Dimensions of Cultural Security for Ethnic and Linguistic Minorities
(Dimensionen kultureller Sicherheit bei ethnischen/ sprachlichen Minderheiten)

Bautzen (Germany)
17-19 November 2016


Fabian Jacobs, Ines Keller (Serbski Institut)
Jean-Rémi Carbonneau (Université du Québec à Montréal)
Andreas Gruschke (Sichuan University)


Serbski Institut/Sorbisches Institut
Budyšin/Bautzen (Saxony), Germany

Cultural security is a polysemic notion in social sciences. It has been used to describe the foreign policy of nation-states seeking cultural exemption provisions in trade agreements to promote their cultural assets and secure it in the face of the standardisation trends of globalisation (Bélanger, 1999) as well as to study international regulations against the looting of cultural artefacts and world’s cultural heritage sites during armed conflicts (Nemeth, 2015). The notion of cultural security has also been introduced on the level of domestic policy to analyse state measures aimed at protecting minorities, as in the specific cases of aboriginal peoples in Australia (Coffin, 2007; Gooda, 2011) and ethnic minorities in China (Grunfeld, 2015).

Cultural security of ethnic / linguistic minorities covers the social conditions and institutional context allowing their members to develop a sense of belonging to their state and simultaneously strengthen their autonomy in cultural spheres. Cultural security would thus guarantee, so the assumption, social stability and a sustainable development for both ethnic / linguistic minority and majority. To this end, cultural security is not limited to legal and constitutional measures, but also includes any attempts to create a living environment based on mutually accepted norms and conventions, in which people belonging to minorities have their cultural identity taken into account, protected and promoted on the long run. Multinational states providing a form of cultural security to their historical minorities are likely to receive substantial benefits from it, insofar as it allows an intercultural dialogue between majority and minority groups as well as their coexistence on a more equal footing, which in turn ensures intercultural cohesiveness and political stability. Cultural security has therefore a significant impact on conflict management between ethnic / linguistic groups in a multinational state.

The dimensions of cultural security are highly diverse and complex, since they are broken down into individual and collective actor levels and often involve the cultural interpretation and values of the concerned ethnic and linguistic communities. As part of this symposium, participants are invited to present case studies that focus on one or more of the following dimensions:

1) Processes of collective identity formation (Niethammer, 2000) and their influence on the feeling of security of individuals belonging to minorities (Baumann, 2009); the defense of collective identity through external protections against the decisions of the majority society (Kymlicka, 1995), through a substantial level of institutional completeness (Breton, 1964, 1985, 1994) or other institutional mechanisms;

2) The sense of cultural security through the promotion of a common cultural heritage and the ongoing relationship members of a minority have with it ; the tension between protection and preservation of cultural and linguistic practices on the one hand, and the possibility of cultural innovation and the pression to adapt to the society of the majority on the other; cultural and linguistic recovery strategies (Fishman 2001, May, 2012; Schulze, 2015); contemporary debates on cultural tourism, minority folklorisation or immaterial cultural heritage (Keller, Jacobs & Jacobs, 2015);

3) Negotiation strategies on the necessary conditions for societal inclusion of ethnic and linguistic minorities (Tschernokoshewa, Keller & Jacobs, 2015); their (cultural-) political involvement in state institutions through mechanisms of political participation (Lijphart 2004; Stojanović 2013);

4) Discourses on the territorialisation of linguistic spaces, settlement areas and homeland as well as their pervasive influence on a sense of cultural security; the political negotiation of territorial and federal arrangements (e.g. Laponce 1987; van Parijs, 2011; Parent, 2011); the forced sedentarisation and the creation of aboriginal reserves (ex. Bartlett, 1990 ; Simard, 2003 ; Gentelet, Bissonnette et Rocher, 2007; Ptačkova, 2013);

5) Cases of cultural insecurity due to assimilation and homogenisation policies, state centralisation, social discrimination and the lack of political recognition of cultural rights by majority society and state institutions (Taylor, 1992; Skutnabb- Kangas & Phillipson, 1995; Walde, 2012; Eisenberg et al., 2014); psychosocial consequences of discrimination experiences, forced displacements and linguistic acculturation (Canada, 1996 ; Walde, 2012; Wutti, 2013).

Written submissions (max. 250 words) should be sent to and
by 31 May 2016.

ISCI 2016 poster

Download program folder here:
Faltblatt_ISCI 2016