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Regional policy and minorities in the EU: The case of western Thrace, Greece.

Paraskevopoulou, Anna (2002) Regional policy and minorities in the EU: The case of western Thrace, Greece. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Since the 1980s regional policy has played an increasingly important role in the political agenda of the European Union. Influenced by these external policies and by particular political and social circumstances internally, Greece has gradually introduced reforms in order to update its domestic system of regional and local government. Accordingly, during the 1990s an elected first and second tier of local government was created in Greece. The new regional and local government reforms have affected Greek society in many ways, ranging from economic development to the promotion of local cultures. The aim of the thesis is to examine these reforms and the increasing EU structural funds in relation to issues of ethnicity and ethnic/religious minorities. The focus is on the Muslim minority that inhabits the region of Western Thrace, which is the only officially recognised minority population in Greece. The study is divided into three main parts. The first part looks at the issues of regional and local government both in the European Union and more specifically in Greece. The second part focuses on the Muslim minority itself, examining the recent history of the area and the political and educational issues affecting the Muslim minority. The final part embraces the main points of the thesis whilst concentrating on the issues that directly relate to the new local government reforms and the local society. The main purpose of the thesis is to contribute its findings to our understanding of regionalism and minorities as the European Union expands while reflecting the experiences from the area of Western Thrace in Greece.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General, European Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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