Flensburg, Germany

Minorities and Referendums - Shaping or Being Shaped?

when 23 August 2020 - 30 August 2020
language English
duration 1 week
fee EUR 200

The use of referendums as a tool of self-determination has both strong historical and contemporary relevance in the field of national minorities. 2020 sees the 100th anniversary of the plebiscites which redrew the border between Germany and Denmark, wherein minorities influenced and were affected by the outcome. These plebiscites came about as a result of the end of WWI, and were part of a broader array of self-determination referendums in Europe in 1920 and 1921 that formed part of a larger geopolitical reshuffle in which a number of today's national minorities were created. Alongside this, in recent years the issue of self-determination and autonomy through referendums has resurfaced, particularly in the context of Catalonia and Scotland. This centennial provides a pertinent opportunity for examination, reflection, and discussion of referendums as democratic tools in a time when democracy is facing new challenges and threats. How have the lessons of the last 100 years influenced forms of autonomy and self-determination today? What does the future of the German-Danish border region hold, and what might its successes and difficulties teach other border regions? And how are changing political landscapes affecting both minority communities and referendums?

Topics Covered
• Minority concepts, rights and definitions in Europe
• The effect of the 1920 plebiscites for the Danish/German border region and the minority communities either side of the border
• The role of German and Danish minority communities in the referendum process.
• The contemporary debate on self-determination referendums in Europe, particularly Scotland and Catalonia, and their implications for minorities
• Models and challenges of self-determination and autonomy for diverse communities in Europe and beyond
The programme will consist of lectures, seminars and workshops given by ECMI research staff and expert guest lecturers, including Vello Pettai (ECMI), Ljubica Djordjevic (ECMI), Sergiusz Bober (ECMI), Caitlin Boulter (ECMI/Humboldt Universität zu Berlin), Rob Dunbar (University of Edinburgh), Volker Prott (Aston University, Birmingham), Elisabeth Alber (Eurac Research, Bozen/Bolzano), Mogens Rostgaard Nissen (Dansk Centralbibliotek for Sydslesvig), and more to be announced.

Planned Activities
The programme will combine traditional and non-formal educational methods, interactive sessions and networking activities and will thus inspire the participants to engage with the topics of the course critically and from different perspectives and disciplinary approaches. The course will include:
• Keynote lectures delivered by prominent scholars, academic lectures and practitioners’ seminars
• Interactive workshops conducted by trained professionals and discussion sessions
• Meetings and networking with local minority stakeholders, panel discussions
• A cross-border trip to Denmark to visit German minority organisations
• Presentation and research exchange among the participants
• Social events (city tour, visits to selected museums/exhibitions, international evening).

The tuition fee for the Summer School 2020 is
• 200 EUR if the completed application is submitted until 15th May 2020 (EARLY BIRD discount)
• 250 EUR if the completed application is submitted after 15th May 2020

The fee covers:
• The week-long programme of lectures and workshops
• All reading materials before and during the Summer School
• Accommodation and breakfast in Flensbed Hostel (https://www.flensbed.de/en/homepage/) in 4-bed rooms from 23rd August - 30th August 2020
• Lunches and light refreshments for seven days of the Summer School, plus two dinners
• A field trip to Denmark
• Participation in all additional Summer School activities (city tour, social activities, visits to museums/exhibition)
• Support with bureaucratic matters during your visa application (if needed). Please note that visa fees will not be reimbursed.

Travel costs, as well as visa and health/travel insurance costs will not be reimbursed.

Cancellation policy
Cancellation until 17th July 2020: 80% of the tuition fee will be refunded, minus any additional incurred costs.
Cancellations after 17th July 2020: no refund

The 10th Annual Summer School ‘National Minorities and Border Regions’ is organised together with Coppieters Foundation and is kindly hosted by our partners at the Dansk Centralbibliotek for Sydslesvig.
This summer school is a joint initiative of ECMI and Coppieters Foundation. This event is financially supported by the European Parliament. The European Parliament is not liable for the content of the conference or the opinions of the speakers.

Course leader

European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI), in cooperation with the Coppieters Foundation and the Dansk Centralbibliotek for Sydslesvig

Target group

MA and PhD students from the fields of social sciences, law, history and/or practitioners from the public sector, NGOs, mass-media

Course aim

This intensive one-week course aims to equip young researchers with knowledge and critical skills in the field of minority studies and to build new networks between scholars and practitioners.

Fee info

EUR 200: 200 EUR if the completed application is submitted until 15th May 2020 (EARLY BIRD discount). Applicants who submit their completed applications before the Early Bird deadline will be eligible for a reduced fee in the event that they are selected for the program. Fees will be due to be paid in late June/early July.
EUR 250: 250 EUR if the completed application is submitted after 15th May 2020.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the ECMI is developing contingency plans which will allow us to proceed with the Summer School programme should disruptions occur due to travel restrictions for lecturers. These contingencies include some flexibility in the teaching and activities of the programme, including interactive online teaching options and sourcing locally-based lecturers to step in. Additionally, if confirmed participants are unable to attend the Summer School due to travel restrictions relating to the crisis, they will be fully refunded for any fees paid up to that point. In the event that the programme is cancelled entirely, any fees paid will be refunded in full.


No scholarships provided