Course “The Diversity of Human rights”: Human Rights and Citizenship.
Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik, 4 – 11 Sept. 2011
Directors: Prof. Dr. Bernd Ladwig, Freie Universität Berlin; Prof. Dr. Georg Lohmann, Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg; Dr. Ana Matan, Universität Zagreb; Prof. Dr. Zvonko Posavec, Universität Zagreb
The annual course concerns several problems of human rights discourses. The participants come from different nations and bring in different disciplinary competences relevant for human rights theory and practice: The Course aims at an interdisciplinary debate between philosophy, jurisprudence, and political science, confronting them also with the insights and experiences of human rights activists from the region.
The topic of next year’s course will be “Human rights and citizenship”. The concept of citizenship has basically to dimensions. It denotes, firstly, the state of being a citizen of a particular political community. It denotes, secondly, the active participation of virtuous citizens in the public sphere of a society. Citizenship in the second sense is the willingness of citizens to promote common bonds and to perform civic virtues and civic identity. The concept of citizenship in this last sense has obvious ties to republican conceptions of politics.
With regard to the first, more formal use of the term, citizenship functions prominently in discourses of social rights. Beginning with T. H. Marshall’s famous analysis of the development of citizenship as a progress from civil, to political, up to social rights, the concept has been used to claim for an even more substantial understanding of socio-political belonging.
Combining both dimensions, we can distinguish an internal from an external aspect of citizenship. Concerning the internal aspect, claims for full citizenship can be seen as claims for a deepening of social bonds in a particular political community. Citizens should be respected in a manner sensitive to diversity, insofar as the differences among them might influence their ability of effective political and social participation as equals. And the community should take care of the citizen’s “qualities”, e.g. their willingness to vote and to held governments accountable, to show solidarity with their co-members, to pay taxes, and the like.
Concerning the external aspect, established bonds of citizenship might be challenged by outsiders and non-members either already living within the borders or coming from abroad. Struggles for or against a socially more inclusive conception of citizenship bring into light the human-rights dimension of membership in at least one particular political community. And they make visible the tensions between the universalistic foundations of liberal democracies and their always particularistic realization. Consequently, some authors actually argue for new, transnational types of citizenship in order to overcome the dualism of insiders and outsiders, foreigners and accepted members.
Proposals for papers are welcome if they deal with one or some of the aspects just mentioned. For example:
How should we conceptualize citizenship and especially the connection between its formal dimension of status and its informal dimension of virtues and identification?
How should we understand the relation between citizenship and human rights, either in general or with respect to particular, e.g. social, types of rights? And is there a distinct human right to citizenship in at least one particular political community?
How should we deal with the tension between functional requirements of sufficiently strong social ties on the one hand and potentially competing forms of political, ethnic, religious, regional, or gendered identities among citizens on the other?
How should we regulate citizenship externally, in response to the claims of outsiders for inclusion? What about ‘sans-papiers’, ‘denizens’, and refugees seeking asylum?
The course will give room for the presentation of papers as well as for workshops especially designed to give students and young researchers the opportunity to present projects. Each director will invite excellent students to participate in the course. The language is English.