UNESCO Courier

Articles from June

Ait Ben Haddou, a Desert-Born Model for Urban Design
THE High Atlas mountain chain once divided Morocco into two distinct parts. The area of ample rainfall, bountiful agriculture and placid village life to the north was called bled al-makhzan, the land of imperial governance. To the south, a rocky, sandy...
A Protective Framework
The long struggle to provide international protection for minorities INTERNATIONAL regulations concerning the protection of minorities go back to 1555 when, for the first time, the Peace of Augsburg provided for the protection of religious minorities....
A Sense of Difference
A thumbnail guide to the world's minorities WHAT are the usual criteria by which a minority group can be identified? In the case of ethnic or cultural minorities, the first criterion is that of language. A group using a language different from that...
Communities at the Crossroads
Reconciling societies and the groups that compose them must be a priority for modern democracy IN the half-century following the Second World War, the nation-state came to be regarded with approval by every political system and every ideology. In the...
Editorial by Federico Mayor
WHAT is a minority? Does a group become a minority simply by virtue of regarding itself as one? Can any and every minority invoke the right to self-determination? Is it conceivable that the map of the world could ever be redrawn to conform with ethnic...
Environmental Education in Action
THE Courier's "Greenwatch" section is now a year old. In the course of looking into programmes in progress around the world and listing available environmental education documents, we have come across many initiatives that we wanted to share with our...
Guests, Immigrants, Minorities
How far is the integration of Europe's immigrant workers really possible? THE modern nation-state, which is based on a universalist ideology, invented the concept of citizenship so as to include all people, irrespective of the communities to which they...
Identity - a Card with Two Faces
A hard look at the concept of group identity and its impact, for better or worse, on today's world THERE are, to my mind, two ways of looking at the current upsurge in demands for the recognition of cultural, religious, ethnic, racial or national identities....
Passover in Sarajevo
Sarajevo: 7 April this year. The place: the old synagogue, miraculously still standing, although its windows are shattered. The time: 12:30 p.m. The weather is fine. There is relatively little shooting. The little street, usually empty, is full of...
The Siren Song of Self-Determination
When empires disintegrate, the logic of self-determination can be exploited by extreme nationalist ideologies, with terrible consequences "NATIONALISM . . . is nothing without the creation of nation-states, and a world of such states, fitting the present...
The Yugoslav Quagmire
The origins of the Yugoslav state help to explain its eventual break-up THERE are no minorities in multinational states such as the Switzerland and Belgium of today, the Soviet Union of yesterday, and the Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and the...
Umberto Eco
The Italian semiotician Umberto Eco became known to a worldwide audience through his best-selling novel The Name of the Rose (1980), a murder mystery set in medieval times which was later adapted into a popular film. This success has tended to overshadow...
What Is a Minority?
Applied to society, the concept of a minority is not necessarily numerical. Social and historical factors shape a group's consciousness of minority status IN the West, the issue of minorities goes back to the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century,...
Why?
No longer can anyone plead ignorance of what is going on in Bosnia today or of what is at stake there. No longer can anyone maintain that there is nothing to choose between the lawful representatives of the sovereign state of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the...
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