Fwd: Call for Papers: Who benefits? Access of Minorities to Locally Provided Public Services

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Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 20:01:10 +0300 (EEST)
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Subject: Fwd: Call for Papers: Who benefits? Access of Minorities to Locally Provided Public Services

From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

Original sender: Petra Kovacs <multiethnic-owner@yahoogroups.com>

Fwd: Call for Papers: Who benefits? Access of Minorities to
Locally Provided Public Services

Call for Contributors
Delivering Public Services in Central and Eastern Europe: Trends and
10th Annual Conference of NISPAcee in Cracow, Poland, April 25-27,

Working Group 4 on Democratic Governance of Multiethnic Communities 
Petra Kovacs, LGI/OSI, Hungary
Jana Krimpe, Tallinn University of Educational Sciences, Estonia

Who benefits? Access of Minorities to Locally Provided Public Services
Post-communist countries established various forms of legal and
institutional frameworks for the protection of minorities, as a
consequence of domestic and international events. But it has become
increasingly clear that an exclusively rights based approach in the
spirit of effective protection grounded on international minimum
standards may not necessarily provide for a broader inclusion of
minorities at all levels of government. Thus, the development of
participatory systems of governance responsive to the special needs of
minorities has become key to the meaningful democracies of this
multi-ethnic region. The establishment of inclusive systems of local
governance in general and from an ethnic perspective in particular, is
an important first step towards building democracy overall.

Much of the minority rights and multi-ethnic policies are implemented
through local authorities. Special measures and services are truly
effective if designed and carried out at the closest level to those
affected. In many countries, as a result of public administration
reforms and decentralization, local authorities took on board
competencies to design policies responsive to ethnic diversity through
the representation or direct involvement of minorities. Yet the
effective implementation of these policies is often hindered by
central government control, skewed administration of law, insufficient
technical expertise and inadequate resources.

Reform of public service introduced market-driven rhetoric in the
field of public administration. Budget restraint, result-oriented
public management, cost effectiveness and efficiency became the new
paradigms in government in countries of CEE.  These values, associated
with the "New Public Management" left little room to accommodate
ethnic diversity in public services: in most cases, policies of
accommodation result in directly measurable costs and are likely to
produce results in the long-run only. Consequently, the new public
management approach to public service delivery contributes to systemic
discrimination of diversity representation in the public sector and
thus may generate unfair processes.

Combating discrimination in public services is not only important
because of purely legal reasons. It is also important because
inequalities and discrimination can destroy results of other policies:
discrimination and the lack of access to basic public services may
create barriers to the achievement of other important policy
objectives such social cohesion, security and prosperity.
The aim of the Working Group is to increase knowledge of governments
and public administration on the impact of current policies of access
to public services in Central and Eastern Europe.
Call for Papers:

In order to generate a complex and multi-disciplinary debate over
theoretical and policy implication of access of minorities to public
services in the region, we are calling experts in:
*       non-discrimination policies
*       equal opportunity policies
*       participation of minorities in policy-making
*       representation of minorities in public administration
to submit their abstract and to share their research results,
theoretical and policy expertise with members of the Working Group at
the 10th Annual meeting of the NISPAcee.

Deadline for abstracts is September 30, 2001.
For further information, please contact coordinators at
Addresses for the Multiethnic Group
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