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International Language Rights Norms in the Dispute over Latinization Reform in the Republic of Tatarstan


Suleymanova, Dilyara (2010). International Language Rights Norms in the Dispute over Latinization Reform in the Republic of Tatarstan. Caucasian Review of International Affairs, 4(1):43-56.

Abstract

This paper explores the role of international language rights norms in the dispute over script reform in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. In the late 1990s, the authorities of Tatarstan initiated reform to change the orthographic base of the Tatar language from a Cyrillic- to a Latin-based script. However, this reform was subsequently banned by a Russian federal law that stipulated the mandatory use of the Cyrillic alphabet for all state languages in Russia. In protesting this decision, Tatar language activists referred to international human and minority rights provisions and used categories of international law to frame their case as a violation of international norms. However, it is not clear whether this case would really qualify as a violation of international norms and whether international instruments would have the power to overturn this state decision. Rather than being practically applicable, international language rights norms have shaped the strategies minorities employ in advocating their rights and contesting state decisions.

This paper explores the role of international language rights norms in the dispute over script reform in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. In the late 1990s, the authorities of Tatarstan initiated reform to change the orthographic base of the Tatar language from a Cyrillic- to a Latin-based script. However, this reform was subsequently banned by a Russian federal law that stipulated the mandatory use of the Cyrillic alphabet for all state languages in Russia. In protesting this decision, Tatar language activists referred to international human and minority rights provisions and used categories of international law to frame their case as a violation of international norms. However, it is not clear whether this case would really qualify as a violation of international norms and whether international instruments would have the power to overturn this state decision. Rather than being practically applicable, international language rights norms have shaped the strategies minorities employ in advocating their rights and contesting state decisions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:08 University Research Priority Programs > Asia and Europe
06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:790 Sports, games & entertainment
390 Customs, etiquette & folklore
950 History of Asia
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
180 Ancient, medieval & eastern philosophy
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:17 Mar 2010 12:32
Last Modified:04 May 2016 09:38
Publisher:Caucasian Review of International Affairs (C RI A)
ISSN:1865-6773
Official URL:http://cria-online.org/
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-31944

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