Localism or centralism? Education reform in Russia and its impact on the rights of national minorities

Prina, F. (2011) Localism or centralism? Education reform in Russia and its impact on the rights of national minorities. Cambrian Law Review, 42,

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Publisher's URL: http://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/camblr42&div=10&g_sent=1&collection=journals


This article analyses Russian educational policies for the teaching of minority languages and cultures in light of the 2007 amendments of the Russian Law 'On Education', arguing that while the new provisions might signal a greater attention to local needs within the federal educational framework in a way that benefits minorities, they may also be other consequences, including localising and/or centralising tendencies. On one side, they may accentuate the precariousness of some aspects of the Russian educational system in the area of minority languages and cultures, potentially leading to a fractionalisation of the educational space in the absence of a coherent, nation-wide educational policy. On the other, they may lead to a potential increase in the control of the federal centre over the regions in the area of education, with a growing emphasis on Russianness coupled with a simultaneous downgrading of minority identities. These two shifts are seemingly moving in opposite directions (localism and centralism) but may in fact simultaneously affect the two tiers of the Russian educational space, the local and the federal. The limited involvement of minorities and regions in decision-making with regard to the new provisions has led to wide-spread alarm, solidifying perceptions of 'loss of control'. The amendments have been little understood and remain undefined as, for the most part, in 2011 they had not been translated into practice. This precariousness poses risks to the maintenance of harmonious inter-ethnic relations in pluri-ethnic Russia, and may signal a regression in Russia's fulfilment of its responsibilities under international minority rights law.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Prina, Dr Federica
Authors: Prina, F.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Journal Name:Cambrian Law Review
Publisher:University of Wales

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