Call for Application 2018

Global Minority Rights Summer School GMRSS 2018

The Law and Politics of Global Minority Rights:
Are Norms and Institutions Failing Us?
Budapest, Hungary, 16-22 July 2018


The Tom Lantos Institute (TLI) and the National University of Public Service (NUPS), in cooperation with Middlesex University London (MU) are organizing their sixth international summer school on minority rights with a special focus on the role of norms and institutions in current efforts to protect the rights of minorities.

The global regime of minority rights protection has long been governed by a normative framework consisting of the United Nations (UN) Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as minority rights provisions of general UN human rights instruments, and other UN conventions and documents focusing on the rights of minorities. In addition, a number of regional minority rights protection regimes complement existing global structures. Besides the United Nations, key actors shaping the field of minority rights include the Council of Europe, European Union, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Organization of American States, and the African Union. Despite the many years that have gone into the development of these regimes, events in recent years, such as the rise of populism, growing numbers of economic migrants and refugees, and the global economic failure have shaken the very foundations of the norms and institutions governing minority rights. In this new era, there is an increasing lack of any shared understanding of who is entitled to minority rights protection, what minority rights entail, and how institutions and civil society actors should protect minority rights. Given these contemporary considerations, how effective are traditional minority rights norms and institutions in this changing landscape? How can civil society actors navigate existing frameworks in their work on protecting minorities? What developments must be made in order to ensure that minority rights norms and institutions are equipped to deal with the contemporary issues that minority groups face?


We plan to examine these questions and the current state of minority rights norms and institutions at the GMRSS 2018, bringing together policy makers, civil society activists, academics, and other key stakeholders. The six-day interactive summer school will address contemporary trends and developments in laws and politics concerning minority rights, examine the impact of institutions at the regional and international level, and discuss the role and efficacy of civil society in protecting minority rights.


The Summer School will host 30 participants from all over the world and offer a forum to discuss relevant issues related to minorities with leading experts and practitioners in the field of international human rights law, political science, international relations, economics, and journalism. Lecturers will:

  • Provide an overview of the normative framework governing minority rights protection at the international and regional levels, including an overview of the history of minority rights protections, current norms, and recent developments in the field of minority rights;
  • Discuss key institutions and how they shape the minority rights protection regime;
  • Explore the role that civil society and other non-state actors play in minority rights protection and the extent to which they are effectively using existing mechanisms;
  • Moderate discussions to allow participants to express their views and debate the issues;
  • Hold panel discussions to question whether existing norms and institutions are ensuring the protection of minority rights.

The Summer School aims to:

  • Explore the development of the global and regional minority rights regimes, current norms and institutions, and recent developments;
  • Discuss and understand how the current political climate and contemporary issues have challenged the existing minority rights framework;
  • Examine how civil society and non-state actors use minority rights norms and institutions, and debate whether they are doing so effectively;
  • Provide participants with a forum for discussing key minority rights issues, share their experiences, and learn from colleagues with a variety of backgrounds and opinions.

This Summer School is envisaged as a space for meeting, consulting and debating with authoritative academics, practitioners, public servants and decision-makers. It provides excellent networking opportunities and the change to share experiences and discuss current research projects. The program is complemented by interactive and informative cultural events.


The participation fee is 150 Euros. It covers tuition, accommodation, meals and cultural events. Financial support is available for a limited number of participants. Please find the details below.


To apply, fill in the application form, save it with the following name: 2018GMRSS_[lastname_firstname}, and submit it to Please do not send any other documents. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.


The deadline for applying is Monday, March 19, 2018, 09:00 a.m. CET. Applicants will be notified by Friday, April 6, 2018.

Who should participate?

  • MA and PhD students who wish to acquire competitive personal competence beneficial for their future careers in academia or in practice-oriented professions;
  • Public servants, decision-makers, teachers in higher education and journalists with an interest in diversity management, equality policies, minority rights, ethnic conflict resolution, and relevant international law;
  • Members of civil society organizations, practitioners;
  • Everyone who is interested in recent developments, current theories and advanced training in the field of minority protection.

A strong command of English is required.

Information about previous Global Minority Rights Summer School are available here ont he GMRSS website. In addition, videos from previous years are available at this link.

Financial Support

Financial support is offered by TLI and NUPS.

  • A small number of full scholarships are available for applicants coming from outside of the Council of Europe member countries to cover the participation fee and travel costs to Budapest (except airport transfer and visa fees.)
  • Partial scholarships are also available to cover the participation fee (tuition, accommodation, meals, and cultural events). Travel costs to Budapest are not covered by the partial scholarships

Applicants for scholarships must have:

  • A proven current interest or work in the field;
  • A strong motivation to improve their understanding and skills;
  • Demonstrated plans for future activities or a career that would utilize the knowledge, contacts, and skills acquired.

We strongly encourage people belonging to national or ethnic, linguistic, and religious minorities, as well as indigenous people to apply for the Summer School.

Location and Institutions

The Summer School will be hosted by the NUPS Faculty of International and European Studies, located at Ludovika tér 2, Budapest, Hungary, in a nice green environment, close to the city center. Accommodation and meals will be offered in the campus of the Faculty at the same locatio