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Throughout the history of the European continent minorities have had a significant impact on political stability and security. Currently, most of the situations involving internal tension, as well as conflicts, whether internal or international, involve inter-ethnic relations. It is therefore not surprising that the international community at large and - for the European minorities more importantly -- the European institutions have placed minority issues high on their agenda. One of these issues concerns minority languages, the subject of the present volume. The possibility to communicate and to be educated in one's own language is one of the most crucial aspects of a person's and a group's identity. This book deals with minority languages in the OSCE area in a systematic way. It provides information which facilitates discussion in scientific, governmental and non-governmental circles dealing with both human rights protection and security issues and assists in finding solutions to particular situations concerning minority languages.;In the first part of the book, academics and experts from various countries subject a number of questions concerning the linguistic rights of minorities to scientific scrutiny. The second part deals with activities and developments within major international organizations and the third part provides a survey of relevant national legislation and documents. This volume contains the most extensive collection of both international and national documents and excerpts from documents relating and/or relevant to the linguistic rights of minorities. It is a valuable source of reference to public and academic work and, as such, is an indispensable tool in the development of rules and policies which protect the linguistic rights of persons belonging to minorities.