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History/ies in Conflict

The Consensus and Dialogue Process in Carinthia: From Ethnic Conflict towards a Peace Region Alps-Adria?

The Alps-Adriatic region is shaped by the violent Central European upheavals in the "age of extremes" (Hobsbawm). The Austrian province (Land) of Carinthia is a prototype of these developments. It is also considered a "special case" of Austrian contemporary history. The cause lies in a national conflict that shaped the history of the Land over more than 150 years. It still forms the basis for public discussions about minority rights. The most visible expression of this ethnic conflict was a decades-long dispute over bilingual topographical inscriptions. To resolve this dispute, the federal government initiates a “consensus process” to have a solution worked out by local conflict parties. Between some of the conflict actors, this process leads to a dialogue, which aims at a deeper analysis of the routes of the conflict. The book offers an analysis of these processes, their development, limits and potential, as well as central criticisms. It is dedicated to the interplay of history, collective identities and memories. The book discusses how dialogue initiatives use methods of conflict transformation to question exclusive narratives, to initiate dialogues among the population and to create an environment for new solutions in minority issues – heading towards the establishment of a "Peace Region Alps -Adria ".

Facultas, 2018, 376 p.

Content and Introduction:

Download: click here (German).


Minority Protection and Language Promotion

Lessons from bilingual Carinthia and trilingual South Tyrol. Perspectives for the Austrian Laws on Ethnic Groups  

The book identifies current challenges of minority protection in Austria (Carinthia). It provides a model for its improvement by combining “classic” elements of minority protection with a wider protection of language and language promotion. The implementation of this approach and its functions are analyzed within the legal framework in Austria (Carinthia). Findings of the book build on historical comparison and sociological analyses of minority situations in Carinthia (Austria) and South Tyrol (Italy), which is often prescribed as a “model of success”. Thereby, the book outlines perspectives for ongoing discussions about necessary reforms of the Austrian system of minority protection.

Böhlau, 2017, 385 p. German.


Günther Rautz, Jürgen Pirker: Minderheitenschutz und Sprachförderung, JRP 2018/2, 154-155 (German). 

Komáromi Sándor, Pirker, Jürgen: Law and Symbolism. The Inclusion of the Carinthian Slovene Minorityin the Province’s Constitution, in: KISEBBSÉGKUTATÁS/MINORITY STUDIES, 4/2017, 134-137 (Hungarian).

Schneider-Mizony O., Pirker Jürgen. Minderheitenschutz und Sprachförderung Pluralismustauglicher Minderheitenschutz am Beispiel des zweisprachigen Kärnten und dreisprachigen Südtirol, 2017, Nouveaux Cahiers d'Allemand : Revue de linguistique et de didactique, Vol.36, n°2, 2018, 201-204 (Fench).

Book Announcement and Interview:

Die Presse, Peace Education for Carinthia, 18.08.2017 (German).


Look inside the book (German).


We are Carinthia: Youth, Contact and Political Education in Minority Issues

The book gives voice to young people and deals with their attitudes towards “conflictive” past and its interpretation, minority protection and Europe. It uses outcomes of a survey among more than 1,500 pupils (15 to 17) years in all grammar schools in Carinthia and builds upon an interactive dialogue project. The results indicate: Personal contact, a deeper exploration of the history of the region and his own family history, better information in minority affairs and an understanding of the other person’s perspective prepare and foster the way for a common future – in a common Europe.

Verlag Nomos, 2013, 157 p. German.


Ines Weber, Jürgen Pirker: Wir sind Kärnten – Mi smo Koroška, in: Portal für Politikwissenschaft, 2013 (German).


Download: click here (German).


Carinthian Town Sign Issue - The Law Conflict as Identity Conflict

The book deals with the discussion about minority rights in the Austrian Land Carinthia. Building on the history of the majority-minority conflict in the 19th and 20th Century, it argues that the dispute about bilingual topography and the legal provisions in question has to be unterstood as identity conflict.

Nomos, 2010, 338 p. German and English (Summary: 60 p.)


Tamara Ehs, Jürgen Pirker: Kärntner Ortstafelstreit, in: Portal für Politikwissenschaft, 2010 (German).

Content and Conclusion (German/English):

Download: click here.


Edited Books

Borders - Separation and Connection 1918-2018

Series: gemeinsam/skupno 2020

Eds: Gerhard Hafner / Karl Hren / Heinrich Neisser/ Martin Pandel / Jürgen Pirker / Günther Rautz / Kathrin Stainer-Hämmerle

Borders separate and connect, politically and mentally. The borders drawn after the First World War created new nation states and promoted nationalism, which experienced its most aggressive forms in the 20th century. The borders drawn 100 years ago still lead to tensions and conflicts today. After the Second World War, the European Community set out as a "peace project" to overcome borders that had recently been closed again in response to the migration and refugee crisis - in reality and in people's minds. The 100th anniversary of the reorganisation of Europe after the First World War, the foundation of the First Republic and the Carinthian referendum provide an opportunity to examine from an interdisciplinary perspective the causes and consequences of border demarcations, their overcoming and the potential of border areas in the European Union. In the present volume, family histories illustrate the subjective experiences of border residents and members of minorities who had to leave their "homeland" after the redrawing of borders 100 years ago. These impressions are followed by analyses of the genesis of these border demarcations and their consequences for the present. The contributions shed light on the functions of borders and how they can be overcome by the European Union.


Ernst Bruckmüller (Wien),  Claudia Fräss-Ehrfeld (Klagenfurt), Danijel Grafenauer (Ljubljana), Roland Girtler (Wien), Tamara Griesser-Pecar (Wien), Gerhard Hafner (Wien), Othmar Karas (Wien/EP), Heinrich Neisser (Wien/Innsbruck), Jürgen Pirker (Graz), Manfried Rauchensteiner (Wien)


Dr. Peter Kaiser, Governor of Carinthia

Hermagoras Verlag, 2019, 232 p.

Content and Introducion:

Download: click here (German).


Old and New Minorities: Integration, Law and Politics

Series: gemeinsam/skupno 2020

Eds: Gerhard Hafner / Karl Hren / Heinrich Neisser/ Martin Pandel / Jürgen Pirker / Günther Rautz / Kathrin Stainer-Hämmerle

Migration challenges the classical protection of minorities at the beginning of the 21st century. A sustainable handling of "new" and "old" diversity requires an analysis of the separation between autochthonous and other minorities in proven minority protection concepts and their consequences for different groups and their members. The book therefore raises the following questions: Are protection systems for old minorities still effective? Do the criteria underlying the demarcation between new and old minorities continue to make sense? To what extent do "classical" systems of protection of ethnic minorities respond to the increasing presence of new groups? To answer these questions, the volume integrates perspectives from the historical, legal, political and social sciences - using Austria as an example in its international context.


Doris Angst (Bern), Wolfgang Benedek (Graz), Marika Gruber (Klagenfurt), Gerhard Hafner (Wien), Nadine Hell (Klagenfurt), Stephan Leitner (Wien), Joseph Marko (Graz), Jürgen Pirker (Graz), Günther Rautz (Bozen), Albert Reiterer (Wien), Kathrin Stainer-Hämmerle (Klagenfurt), Gabriel Toggenburg (Wien/Bozen), Dejan Valentincic (Ljubljana), Vladimir Wakounig (Klagenfurt)


Dr. Peter Kaiser, Governor of Carinthia

Hermagoras Verlag, 2018, 294 p.

Content and Introduction:

Download: click here (German/Slovenian).


Carinthia and Slovenia: Common Ways - Separate Future

Youth between Homeland, Nation and Europe

Within the Alps-Adriatic Region nationalism in its most aggressive forms has cut deep wounds into the memory of people, belonging to different nations and national minorities. Building on an action-research based initiate, the book analyzes attitudes of more that 5,000 pupils in Carinthia and Slovenia towards neighboring countries and languages, nationalism and the European Union, old and new minorities in Europe and the relations of Carinthia and Slovenia. Several Articles deal with the history of conflicts between the two countries, highlight related identity concept and explain the functions of language in border regions. The underlying initiative can be seen as contribution to peace research and peace education in Central Europe – fostering mutual understanding by dealing with the past.

Contributions by:
Danijel Grafenauer | Linda Hofmeister | Helmut Konrad | Sonja Novak-Lukanovič | Joseph Marko | Rainer Pichler | Jürgen Pirker | Stefanie Vavti | Hellwig Valentin | Werner Wintersteiner | Daniel Wutti

Nomos, 2015, 344 p. German and Slovenian.

Review of the initiative:

Nadja Danglmaier, Andreas Hudelist und Daniel Wutti, Good Practice Herausragende Schulprojekte zum Thema Nationalsozialismus, in: Nadja Danglmaier/Andreas Hudelist/Samo Wakounig/Daniel Wutti (Hrsg.), Erinnerungsgemeinschaften in Kärnten/Koroška, Hermagoras, 2017, 231 (German).


Download: click here (German/Slovenian).


L' état, c'est quoi? State Authority in Transition

Eds: Heschl / Juri / Neubauer / Pirker / Scharfe / Wagner / Willgruber

Articles by:
Helmut Philipp Aust (Berlin), Maria Bertel (Innsbruck), Dominik Elser (Bern), Jasper Finke (Hamburg), Rike U. Krämer (London), Malte Kröger (Hamburg), Elmar Krüger (Osnabrück), Claudia Wutscher (Wien), Anna Mrozek (Leipzig), Hannes Rathke (Berlin/Heidelberg), Philipp Reimer (Freiburg), Vanessa Rüegger (Basel), Roya Sangi (Hamburg) und Dominik Steiger (Berlin).

Nomos, 2015, 329 p. German.


Matthias Lemke, Lisa Heschl / Julia Juri / Manuel P. Neubauer / Jürgen Pirker / Matthias Scharfe / Lorin-Johannes Wagner / Malina Willgruber (Hrsg.): L'État, c'est quoi? Staatsgewalt im Wandel Baden-Baden: 2015, in: Portal für Politikwissenschaft, 2016


Cooperation and Coordination as Trends in Legal Development

Eds: Gotthard / Hofstätter / Ivankovics / Neubauer / Pirker / Scharfe / Trappl / Willgruber

Articles by:
Ludwig Adamovich • Stephan G. Hinghofer-Szalkay • Andreas Stefan Huber • Julia Kolar • Mona Philomena Ladler • Philipp Lindermuth • Andreas Lopatka • Matthias Lukan • Andreas Orator • Rainer Palmstorfer • Kerstin Tobisch • Bernd Wiesinger

Jan Sramek, 2014, 254 p.


Further Publications:

Ass.-Prof. MMag. DDr.

Jürgen Pirker

Institute for Public Law and Political Science

Phone:+43 316 380 - 7412

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