European organizations and minority rights in Europe: on transforming the securitization dynamic

David Galbreath, Joanne McEvoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


Minority rights conditionality has been seen by scholars as a key part of the EU enlargement process. While the focus on minority rights has largely been discussed in terms of democracy and even human rights, this article argues that conditionality was a result of the securitization of minorities rather than part of an agenda to protect or empower. In this article, we look at the methods of desecuritization as factors of ‘narratives, norms and nannies’. In response to Paul Roe’s conclusions about the impossibility of desecuritizing societal security, we examine whether the EU, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe have the ability to change the societal dynamics among ethnic groups in such a way as to make the desecuritization of societal security more likely. Overall, we illustrate how a focus on ‘deconstructivist’ and ‘constructivist’ approaches to societal security has failed to make European organizations important transformative actors in interethnic relations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-284
Number of pages18
JournalSecurity Dialogue
Issue number3
Early online date8 Jun 2012
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012



  • social security
  • minority rights
  • securitization
  • enlargement
  • European security

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