The annual course “The Diversity of Human Rights” addresses different problems within the human rights discourse. The participants come from various countries and bring in different disciplinary competences relevant for human rights theory and practice. The course aims at an interdisciplinary debate, especially between philosophy, jurisprudence, and political science. Furthermore, the course intends to establish a dialogue between researchers and human rights activists from the region.
The next course’s topic focuses on the meaning and development of human rights of political participation (especially article 18 to 21 of the UDHR) and the options to strengthen these rights in the light of the recent political and social pressure on them. From their onset the role of human rights to political participation has been ambivalent. On the one hand they are constitutive for the formation of a judicially adequate regime of human rights and they protect and ensure equal rights for all people to partake in the public process of opinion forming and decision making. Through these functions they safeguard the democratic requirement of public control by regarding individuals as agents of human rights and not merely their addressees. On the other hand it can be argued that the signatory parties of the UDHR have limited the universal scope of rights to political participation, seemingly making them compatible with authoritarian and/or paternalistic regimes. Recent political and social trends intensiAied the precarious status of human rights to political participation: Capitalistic globalisation, the strengthening of authoritarian regimes and autocratic dictatorships as well as the widespread renationalisation processes put external pressure on rights to political participation. Internally they are confronted with the increased economisation of the political sphere, due to the functioning of private and digital media as well as structural changes of representative democracy.
Given these challenges the course’s aim is threefold: 1. to debate the proper interpretation of political human rights, 2. to discuss the speciAic implications of various political human rights and how they differentiate from each other as well as their relevance to the aforementioned challenges, and 3. to review the relation of political human rights to other human rights and to possibly defend their claim to transnational implementation.
These as well as further aspects and questions shall be tackled within the course. The organizers invite researchers to send in abstracts (300 words, deadline: April 1, 2017) addressing some of the problems and tensions just indicated, concerning the concept, conceptions, implementation and/or enforcement of human rights. The course will give room for the presentation of papers (90 minutes including discussion) and will include workshops especially designed for students and young researchers to present their work in progress (60 minutes including discussion). Each director will invite excellent students to participate in the course. The course language is English.