Case Studies - Background
The empirical part of my work on which my hypotheses will be tested consists of a comparative study of four different cases: The German-speaking minority in South Tyrol (Italy), the Bretons in France, the German minority in Silesia (Poland), and the Italian minority in Istria (Croatia). The cases were selected based on a most dissimilar cases research design, as the minorities differ considerably in size, political importance, degree of protection, type of autonomy (territorial, cultural, or none), presence or absence of a kin-state, etc. Additionally, another important criterion was to choose two “old” and two “new” member states, in order to close the gap in the literature discussed before, and establish a comparative study bridging the dichotomy between ‘old’ and ‘new’ members. In the ‘new’ member group, one country from the ‘big bang’ enlargement in 2004 was selected; the other case study, Croatia, is the first state from the Western Balkans region to join the EU.
KeywordsMother Tongue Minority Language Regional Identity Regional Language Linguistic Group
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