Regulation of Interethnic Relations Through Educational Policy:
Experience of EU Member Countries

Sadovaja E.S.,

Cand. Sci. (Econ.), Head of Department, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences,

elibrary_id: 565189 |

Kutergin V.A.,

Postgraduate Student, Junior Researcher, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences,

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2017.05.07

For citation:

Sadovaja E.S., Kutergin V.A. Regulation of Interethnic Relations Through Educational Policy: Experience of EU Member Countries. – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No. 5. P. 91-105. (In Russ.).


The article is devoted to the study of the experience of regulation of interethnic relations through educational policy. Such an approach seems very productive, taking into account the diversity and importance of functions performed by education. As an object of study, a policy in the field of education in the European Union was chosen, with focus on one aspect of this policy – language teaching. The authors consider the legal framework for the regulation of ethnopolitical relations within the educational policy, noting that the legislation was formed under the influence of the existing legal conflict, between the principle of self-determination and the principle of territorial integrity of state. The study analyzed the peculiarities of the legislation governing the teaching of the language, examined some interesting examples of law enforcement practices in countries such as France, Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Spain. In these countries, according to the authors, national features of the implementation of the policy of regulation of ethnopolitical relations in the field of language education are clearly manifested. The article concludes that within the framework of supranational structures of the EU, mechanisms for regulating interethnic relations through policy instruments in the sphere of education are poorly developed. The main level of regulation remains the level of individual states. The “case studies” examined in the article allowed the authors to identify “indicative” cases, classify them, identify fundamentally different approaches to formulating a policy towards ethnic minorities in the field of education. This is a very “long-playing” choice, which, as a rule, does not depend on the layout of political forces within the country. It can be stated that in European countries in the field of education, two main strategies for the regulation of the rights of ethnic minorities are implemented: a policy of positive discrimination and an integrative policy. The analysis shows that the policy of positive discrimination of ethnic minorities, realized with some or other national peculiarities, was the most widespread in the EU countries in the field of educational policy. Particular attention is paid to the analysis of positive and negative aspects of applied practices. The authors emphasize the role of educational policy in the nation-building process. At the same time, they conclude that educational policy cannot be considered separately from the socio-economic and political context in which it is implemented. It is also not an independent mechanism for regulating interethnic relations, but rather an instrument for smoothing out ethno-cultural contradictions in the composition of the state’s social, economic, and national policies. 

educational policy; language policy; identity policy; socio-economic policy; national state; regulation of ethnopolitical conflicts.


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Content No. 5, 2017

See also:

Sadovaja E.S.,
Socio-economic Factors of Ethnopolitical Conflict. – Polis. Political Studies. 2016. No4

Nazukina M.V.,
The Institutionalization of Ethnicity in the Identity Policy of Russian Republics: Conceptual Analysis. – Polis. Political Studies. 2020. No3

Tishkov V.A.,
Language Situation and Language Policy in Russia (Revising Categories and Practices). – Polis. Political Studies. 2019. No3

Prokhorenko I.L.,
Possibilities of Spatial Approach in Analysis of Ethnopolitical Conflicts. – Polis. Political Studies. 2016. No6

Semenenko I.S.,
Identity Politics and Identities in Politics: Interethnic Perspectives in a European Context. – Polis. Political Studies. 2016. No4



Introducing an article

Polis. Political Studies
5 2011

Pantin I.K.
Russian revolution as a problem of political philosophy

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