The European Minority Rights Regime: Towards a Theory of Regime Effectiveness

David J Galbreath, Joanne McEvoy

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Following the end of Cold War, the European political community and its international organisations set out on a new course to substantiate minority rights as a fundamental principle of democratic Europe. Coming from the perspectives of regional stability, democracy promotion and European integration, the European Union, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Council of Europe generated new mechanisms and norms that addressed the ‘problem’ of minority rights in Europe. These norms and mechanisms would be intrinsically linked, although not limited to, the EU accession process. We argue that the institutions, mechanisms and norms of these three international organisations constitute the European Minority Rights Regime.. Although the regime has had an important impact in improving the situation of national minorities across Europe, we argue that it has not been wholly effective. We point to the problems of norm contestation and the limits of conditionality in ensuring policy implementation. We attribute much of the positive regime consequences to the cooperation among European organisations, particularly a network of experts who arguably constitute an epistemic community on minority rights. These insights add to the ongoing debates on the effectiveness of international regimes as well as the literature on governance and complexity in the international system.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBasingstoke, U. K.
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages232
ISBN (Print)9780230236462
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in European Union Politics


Dive into the research topics of 'The European Minority Rights Regime: Towards a Theory of Regime Effectiveness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this