Conflict Prevention and the Issue of Higher Education in the Mother Tongue
The Case of the Republic of Macedonia
Marcin Piotr Czaplinski
Pages: 330 pages
Shipping Weight: 610 gram
ISBN (softcover) : 9879058503817
After being largely neglected in the XX century, today conflict prevention occupies an increasingly important role on the agenda of policy makers. As Tony Judt said: “War-making is the exception in modern international affairs. The real challenge is preventing war, making peace and keeping it.” At the same time, minorities have a significant impact on political stability and security in the world. The Minority Rights Group estimates that minorities comprise 30-40% of the world’s population. In addition, at present most of the conflicts in the world have an inter-ethnic character. The classical clashes and tensions between States appear to have been replaced by conflicts generated by tensions between ethnically defined groups and often between a national majority and a national minority. Among various aspects of minority rights the right to education in the mother tongue has led to many disputes. This is mostly due to the fact that education in the language of the minority determines to a large degree the position of a minority language in the state and the degree of participation of persons belonging to minorities in public services. Against this background, the role of education as a source of conflict in inter-ethnic relations, but also as one of the tools to prevent them, especially in the long term, deserves special attention.
Having in mind the above-mentioned link between conflict prevention and the issue of the right to education in the mother tongue, the Republic of Macedonia could be described as an unique case.
The book discusses the issue of language right of the Albanian Ethnic minority in Macedonia. Allowing the usage of the Albanian language in daily leave would lead to a lesser divide of the two ethnic communities and would have a beneficial influence also on other aspects of inter-ethnic relations between the Macedonian majority and Albanian minority. A well-functioning system of higher education, including that in minority languages, could be one of the best possible instruments of building a tolerant and integrated society.