Citizenship in Segmented Societies
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Citizenship in Segmented Societies

Lessons for the EU

Edited by Francis Cheneval and Mónica Ferrin

European Union citizenship is increasingly relevant in the context of both the refugee crisis and Brexit, yet the issue of citizenship is neither new nor unique to the EU. Using historical, political and sociological perspectives, the authors explore varied experiences of combining multiple identities into a single sense of citizenship. Cases are taken from Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey. These examples of communities being successfully incorporated into one entity are exceptionally useful for addressing the challenges facing the EU today.
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Chapter 4: The Czech Republic: minority rights since the days of the Habsburg Empire

Vít Hloušek


The Czech Republic embodies a remarkable exception to the set of cases dealt with in this volume. As a nationally and ethnically rather homogenous country it does not appear to be an appropriate object of research on minority claims. The path towards the present situation, however, shows a country struggling with the multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic and multi-religious composition of its population. The chapter reads the Czech history of the second half of the twentieth century as a story of the de-complexification of the population. Furthermore, by analysing actual claims of politically relevant minority issues, such as the situation of the Czech Roma population, the chapter reveals a path dependency on experiences with previous violent unification and homogenisation of the Czech Lands and points to lessons for the European Union.

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