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Government-Minority Dialogue in Austria

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The purpose of this article is to analyze the functioning of Austria's Ethnic Advisory Councils as institutionalized mechanisms for government-minority dialogue. The article first describes the Austrian social and political context, specifically regarding Austria's six officially-recognized autochthonous ethnic groups2. After an overview of the historic and contemporary situations of these groups, their legal status and the process for policy-making on minority issues in Austria are examined. Based on extensive interviews with policy-makers and minority representatives during Summer 1995, the last sections specifically address the role of the Ethnic Advisory Councils and consider various proposals for improving their functioning.

Affiliations: 1: Foundation on Inter-Ethnic Relations, The Hague, The Netherlands


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