Challenges of Diverse Migration Flows in Italy’s Autonomous Province of South Tyrol


  • Merita H. Meçe Clemson University, Clemson


Diverse migration flows have significantly increased in Italy’s autonomous province of South Tyrol since the 1990s. This new social phenomenon has presented a range of challenges to the province’s special autonomy status, which is based on power-sharing, proportional representation, a minority veto and the preservation of three old cultural and linguistic groups: German-, Italian-, and Ladin-speaking. This paper examines the challenges of diverse migration flows in South Tyrol with special emphasis on: a) the civil/political dimension, b) the socio-economic dimension, and c) the cultural dimension. It employs secondary quantitative data drawn from the statistical yearbooks of the autonomous province and conducts qualitative desk research on various legal and policy documents as well as other reports and studies. It finds that in the highly-divided society of South Tyrol, a defensive approach to migration propagated by the political elite and supported by provincial policies and laws increases the gap in legitimacy between new minorities arriving in migration and older existing linguistic minorities. Such a situation calls for more welcoming and inclusive approaches to address the issues raised by migration in the autonomous province.

Keywords: South Tyrol; migration; human rights; linguistic minorities; local representation in power-sharing

DOI: 10.14712/23363231.2017.12