Russia’s Minority Education and the European Language Charter

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A crucial question for the linguistic diversity of the world is how the different national and international frameworks that are aimed at supporting and maintaining linguistic diversity fulfil their purpose. This chapter evaluates the provision of minority language education in Russia from the perspective of Article 8 of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In order to do this, the chapter will first outline expert work, which prepared a ‘simulation’ of the Charter’s application in Russia. After this, the chapter will analyse the data on the provision of language teaching according to the legislation of the Finno-Ugric republics. Finally, the chapter will discuss the data matching them with possible undertakings under the Charter and will pinpoint the impact of the education reform on the position of minority languages. The chapter demonstrates that the education reform had a negative impact on the position of languages in education that can be assessed also in terms of the Charter. Thus, the question is raised as to whether the simulation of the Charter’s application has been useful from the point of view of fostering linguistic diversity in Russia. Further, it is demonstrated that the fate of the minority languages in Russia is primarily not dependent on the law and international agreements, but on the regional strength of the minority elites. This is reflected in the fact that in the politically and economically strong republics with dominant titular groups (Tatarstan, Bashkortostan), the minorities have a better protection standard than in their titular republics. This demonstrates that diversity supports increased diversity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLinguistic Genocide or Superdiversity? : New and Old Language Diversities
EditorsJanne Saarikivi, Reetta Toivanen
Number of pages35
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherMultilingual matters
Publication date2016
Article number9th
ISBN (Print)9781783096053
ISBN (Electronic)9781783096077, 9781783096060
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NameLinguistic Diversity and Language Rights

Fields of Science

  • 513 Law
  • minority language education
  • state languages of republics
  • Finno-Ugric republics
  • Russian Federation
  • European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

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