85495 - Justice, Multiculturalism and Human Rights

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Gustavo Gozzi

  • Credits 6

  • SSD SPS/02

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language English

  • Campus of Ravenna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in International Cooperation on Human Rights and Intercultural Heritage (cod. 9237)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale

  • Course Timetable from Feb 01, 2022 to Mar 04, 2022

SDGs

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

No poverty Reduced inequalities Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to analyze the main theoretical approaches to justice, multiculturalism and human rights per se and in their mutual relationships. The course will address and discuss the main contemporary paradigms and doctrines of justice, multiculturalism and human rights, with particular attention to the investigation of the theoretical contradictions that affect their translation into policies and to the analysis of some model/cases of practical application. At the end of the course the student knows the main theoretical approaches to justice, multiculturalism and human rights and he/she is able to critically discuss how their inherent contradictions affect practices and policies.

Course contents

In particular the aim of the course is the analysis of the contemporary theories on multiculturalism and cultural relativism in the frame of the constitutional democracy. In the course one will discuss the questions of multiculturalism and cultural relativism with particular reference to the relationship between collective rights and individual rights, to the problem of value pluralism, to the relation between majority and minorities, to the conditions of integration, to the question of multiplicity of religious identities.

In the frame of this perspective the student will be able of critically considering the interpretative criteria of the complex reality of contemporary multiethnic and multinational States.

 

In order to understand the current questions of multiculturalism it is necessary to adopt a historical perspective that lets us understand in which way the Western civilisation has faced and interpreted other different civilisations: these are the fundamental questions of “colonial encounter” and “colonial legacy”.

Consequently the course will start by analysing the origin of colonialism in XVI century and its affirmation during the 19th century. In this frame it will be possibile to consider the “colonial legacy” in the process of Europe’s building and in the current African and Euro-Mediterranean relations.

Questions that will be addressed also include: the colonial legacy and the asymmetry of the relations of EU with the southern shore of the Mediterranean area; decolonization and Europe as a “civil power” which has been keeping the people of the Mediterranean’s southern shore in a state of dependence by making its aid conditional on their adoption of Western-style forms of democratic government and human rights protection; democracy and Islam; multiculturalism within European constitutional democracies and the culture of "mutual recognition.”

 

In this context issues will be introduced about the meanings and different interpretations of human rights (particularly in Islam), multiculturalism, cultural relativism, integration.

 

The program of the course will consider the following topics:

  1. Investigating the origin of colonialism and the interpretation of the “Otherness”
  2. The colonial legacy: the ideology of “Eurafrica”.
  3. The current theories of human rights. Human rights and dignity.
  4. Islam, democracy and human right
  5. The theories of multiculturalism; Multiculturalism and integration; Multiculturalism and migrant people; Multiculturalism and feminism.
  6. Theories on cultural relativism.
  7. The current debates about justice

 

 

 

  1. The starting point of the course goes back to the first half of sixteenth century, that is to the beginning of the Western idea of colonization, that proclaimed that there was only one way to civilization, that is the Western one. There was no idea of the possibility of other ways to civilization different from the Western one.
  2. During the Thirties of the last century the Eurafrican idea proclaimed the theory of the complementarity of the civilised Europe with the backward Africa rich of raw materials.
  3. The current debates about human rights regard some fundamental questions: human rights and dignity; universalism or relativism of human rights; Western and non-Western concepts of human rights; human rights and globalisation.
  4. The natural law conception of rights was at the ground of UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. In the process of drafting this document, however, there emerged some deep disagreements with some of the exponents of the Islamic world. Moreover it is important to point out that the process of secularisation was the fundamental moment in the constitutional history of Western countries. This process didn’t occur in Islam. Is Islam compatible with democracy?
  5. The theories on multiculturalism refer to those societies where there are stable cultural communities that are able to perpetuate themselves. First of all multiculturalism declares that the guarantee of individual rights depends on a full membership in a respected cultural group.Secondly multiculturalism emphasizes the belief in a value pluralism and in the validity of the diverse values embodied in the practices of different groups. But it is necessary to consider the limits of the acceptance of practices that are in contrast with the principles of the constitutional order that is the ground of the coexistence of the different cultural communities. Thirdly the customs and practices of the different groups should be recognized in the law of the State. Moreover it is important to analyse the relation between multiculturalism and the integration of migrant people.  At last it is necessary to point out the paradox of multiculturalism: it means a plurality of cultures, but it must be grounded on only one culture, the culture of "mutual recognition”. And one more question: is multiculturalism bad for women? (Susan Moller Okin).
  6. The relativism goes back to Protagora's doctrine, that we mainly know through the criticism expressed by Plato and Aristoteles. We can distinguish a relativism that concerns the facts and a relativism that concerns the values. The first meaning of relativism - about facts -can refer either to criteria on the ground of which a proposition can be considered true, or to the patterns of thought that permit the representation of things (for instance the formulas of chemistry). The second meaning of relativism - about values - can refer either to the relationships between values and social practices, or to the different kinds of cultural realities (actions, histories, institutions, practices and so on). To this second meaning of relativism belongs also the relativism as the philosophy of the constitutional multicultural democracy.
  7. The questions of justice will be considered according to some perspectives: justice and globalisation; justice and equality; justice as fairness; justice and peoples' law.

Readings/Bibliography

The lectures will analyse the topics of the course and the professor will illustrate the corresponding bibliography.

The students will freely choose the books according to their interests and to their personal training project.

The students that will attend the lectures have to prepare 3 books, to be freely chosen - no more than one book from a single section - in the following list.

The students that will not attend the lectures have to study 4 books, that they can choose - no more than one book from a single section - in the following list:

 

1.

  • R. F. Betts, Assimilation and Association in French Colonial Theory, 1890-1914, Lincoln and London, University of Nebraska Press, 2005 (Chapters 2 and 6).
  • G. Gozzi, Rights and Civilizations. A History and Philosophy of International Law, Cambridge University Press, 2019 (Chapter 1 and 5).

- M. Koskenniemi, The Gentle Civilizer of Nations. The Rise and Fall of International Law 1870-1960, Cambridge University Press, 2001 (Chapters 1 and 2).

- R. L. Meek, Social science and the ignoble savage, Cambridge Studies in the History and Theory of Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press. 1976 (Chapter 1).

  • Onuma Yasuaki, When was the Law of International Society Born?, "Journal of the History of International Law", 2 (2000).
  • M. Shahabuddin, Ethnicity and International Law. Histories, Politics and Practices, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2016 (Chapter 2).
  • F. de Vitoria, Political Writings, ed. by A. Pagden, Cambridge University Press, 1991 (Chapters 6 and 7).
  • Gozzi G., Humanitarian Intervention, Colonialism, Islam and Democracy: An Analysis through the Human-Nonhuman Distinction, Routledge 2021 (Chapters 1, 2 and 4).

2.

- M. H. Davis, Producing Eurafrica: Development, Agriculture and Race in Algeria, 1958-1965, Ann Arbor, Michigan, ProQuest, 2015 (Introduction, Chapters 1, 6 and Conclusion).

  • M. H. Davis & T. Serres, North Africa and the Making of Europe. Governance, Institutions and Culture, London-New York, Bloomsbury, 2018 (Introduction, Chapters 2 and 10).
  • G. Gozzi, The Colonial Encounter and the Heritage of Colonialism in Africa and the Mediterranean Area, IEMed., “ Quaderns de la Mediterrània”, 2018.
  • P. Hansen and S. Jonsson, Eurafrica. The untold history of European Integration and Colonialism, London-New York, Bloomsbury, 2014 (Chapters 1 and 5).

3.

- J.-M. Barreto (ed. by), Human Rights from a Third World Perspective: Critique, History and International Law, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012.

- S. Benhabib, The rights of others, Cambridge University Press, 2004.

- R. Dworkin, Taking rights seriously, London: Duckworth, 1977.

- R. Dworkin, Freedom's Law, Oxford 1999.

- D. Kretzmer and E. Klein (eds.), The Concept of Human Dignity in Human Rights Discourse, The Hague, Kluwer Law International, 2002.

- W. Mignolo, Who speaks for the "human" in Human Rights?, in "Hispanic Issues on line", 5.1 (2009).

  • Onuma Yasuaki, International Law in a Transcivilizational World, Cambridge University Press, 2017 (Chapter 6 - Human Rights).
  • R. Panikkar, Is the Notion of Human Rights a Western Concept?, Diogenes, 30 (120): 75-102 (1982)

- B. de Sousa Santos, Toward a multicultural Conception of Human Rights, in “Sociologia del diritto”, 1/1997.

- W. Twining, General Jurisprudence. Understanding Law from a Global Perspective, Cambridge University Press, 2009

 

4.

  • Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, Toward an Islamic Reformation: Civil Liberties, Human Rights, and International Law, foreword by John Woll (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1996) (Chapters 4, 6 and 7).
  • G. Gozzi, Rights and Civilizations. A History and Philosophy of International Law, Cambridge University Press, 2019 (Chapter 10).
  • Ann Elisabeth Mayer, Islam and Human Rights: Tradition and Politics, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2013 (Chapter 3).
  • B. Tibi, The European Tradition of Human Rights and the Culture of Human Rights, in A.A. An-Na’im and F.M.Deng, Human Rights in Africa, Washington, D.C., The Brookings Institution, 1990.
    • G. Achcar, Morbid Symptoms. Relapse in the Arab Uprising, London, Saqi Books, 2016
    • R. Bahlul, People vs. God: The Logic of “Divine Sovereignty" in Islamic Democratic Discourse, in “Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations”, 11, 2000, n. 3.
    • A. Bayat, Life as Politics. How ordinary people change the Middle East, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2013
    • N. J. Brown, Constitutions in a Nonconstitutional World, Albany, State University of New York Press, 2002
    • J.L.Esposito and J.O. Voll (ed.), Islam and Democracy, New York-Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1996
    • Gozzi G., Humanitarian Intervention, Colonialism, Islam and Democracy: An Analysis through the Human-Nonhuman Distinction, Routledge 2021 (Chapters 8 and 10).

5.

- G. Baumann, The multicultural riddle, New York: Routledge, 1999.

  • P. Berger, G. Davie, E. Fokas, Religious America, Secular Europe?, Aldershot, Ashgate, 2008.
  • R. Dworkin, Religion without God (2013) (in Alma RE - Risorse elettroniche dell’Università di Bologna)

- D.T. Goldberg (ed.), Multiculturalism, Blackwell, 1995.

- W. Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship. A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights, Clarendon Press, 1995.

- J. Habermas, The Inclusion of Others, Cambridge, Mass.: The Mit Press, 1998

- S. Huntington, Who are we?, 2004.

- Nishitani Osamu, Anthropos and Humanitas: Two Western Concepts of Human Being, in Translation, Biopolitics, Colonial Difference, ed. by Naomi Sakai and Jon Salomon, Hong Kong University Press, 2006.

- M. Nussbaum, Cultivating Humanity, 1997.

- S.M. Okin, Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women? ed. by J. Cohen, M. Howard, M.C. Nussbaum. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999.

  • Onuma Yasuaki, When was the Law of International Society Born?, "Journal of the History of International Law", 2 (2000).
  • Bhikhu Parekh, Rethinking Multiculturalism, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 2002.

- J. Raz, Multiculturalism: a Liberal Perspective, in “Dissent”, 1994.

- A. Sen, Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2006).

- Ch. Taylor, Multiculturalism, Princeton University Press 1994.

- J. Tully, Strange Multiplicity, Cambridge University Press, 1997.

- M. Walzer, On Toleration, 1997.

 

6.

- S. Benhabib, The claims of culture, Princeton University Press, 2002.

- P. A. Boghossian, Fear of Knowledge. Against Relativism and Constructivism, Clarendon Press, 2013 (Chapters 1 and 8).

- E. De Martino, The Land of Remorse: A Study of Southern Italian Tarantism, Free Association Books, 2005.

- G. Devereux, Ethno-psychoanalysis: psychoanalysis and anthropology as complementary frames of reference, University of California Press, Berkeley 1978.

- P. Feyerabend, Farewell to Reason, London, Marston Book Services Limited, 1987 (Ch. 1).

- C. Geertz, The interpretation of cultures, New York 1973.

- C. Geertz, After the Facts. Two Countries, Four Decades, One Anthropologist, Cambridge, Mass., 1995.

- J. Kristeva, Strangers to Ourselves, trans. Leon S. Roudiez (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991).

- J. Margolis, The Truth about relativism, Oxford (UK) - Cambridge (Usa), Blackwell, 1981.

- M. Sahlins, The Western Illusion of Human Nature, 2008.

- B. de Sousa Santos, Another Knowledge is Possible. Beyond Northern Epistemologies, London-New York 2008.

- P. Winch, The idea of social science and its relations to philosophy, London 1958.

- L. Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, Blackwell, 1953.

 

7.

- B.de Sousa Santos, Epistemologies of the South. Justice against epistemicide, London, Boulder, 2014.

- R. Dworkin, Justice for Hedgehogs, Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknapp Press of Harvard University Press, 2011

- K. Marx, The Critique of the Gotha Program (1875)

- Pogge, Thomas. 2002. World Poverty and Human Rights. Cambridge: Polity (Introduction and Chapters 5 and 8)

- J. Rawls, Kantian Constructivism in Moral Theory, “The Journal of Philosophy”, n. 9, vol. 77, 1980

  • J. Rawls, The Law of Peoples, Harvard University Press, 2001
  • M. J. Sandel, Justice. What’s the right thing to do?, Penguin Books, 2010

- A. Sen, Inequality reexamined, Oxford University Press, 1999.

- A. Sen, The idea of justice, London, Allen Lane, 2009.

- E. Tourme-Jouannet, What is a Fair International Society?, Oxford and Portland, Hart Publishing, 2013.

- M. Walzer, Spheres of Justice: A Defense of Pluralism and Equality (New York: Basic Books, 1983).

 

 

Teaching methods

The teaching is delivered on the basis of lectures, but the training of the students is facilitated by continuous discussions during the class time.Also the didactic documents provided by the professor help to favor the learning on the part of the students.


Assessment methods

At the end of the course there will be an oral examination.

The exam will involve a mark.

The students that will attend the course will have an oral exam on three textbooks. The students that will not attend the course will have an oral exam on four textbooks.

Attending students

The assessment of the acquisition of expected knowledge and abilities by the attending students is based on an oral exam.

The oral exam will take place after the end of the class and will consist of three/four questions aimed at assessing the student’s level of knowledge of some of the most important topics addressed by the course, as well as her/his ability to critically analyse and verbally articulate them.

The ability of the student to achieve a coherent and comprehensive understanding of the topics addressed by the course, to critically assess them and to use an appropriate language will be evaluated with the highest grades (A = 27-30 con lode).

A predominantly mnemonic acquisition of the course's contents together with gaps and deficienciesin terms of language, critical and/or logical skills will result in grades ranging from good (B = 24-26) to satisfactory (C = 21-23).

A low level of knowledge of the course’s contents together with gaps and deficienciesin terms of language, critical and/or logical skills will be considered as ‘barely passing' (D = 18-20) or result in a fail grading (E).

Non-attending students

Non-attending students will undergo an oral exam on the dedicated syllabus provided by the instructor. For this reason, non-attending students are kindly requested to contact the instructor in due time and at least once before the exam.

The oral exam will consist of four/five questions aimed at assessing the student’s level of knowledge of some of the most important topics addressed by the course, as well as her/his ability to critically analyse and verbally articulate them.

The ability of the student to achieve a coherent and comprehensive understanding of the topics addressed by the course, to critically assess them and to use an appropriate language will be evaluated with the highest grades (A = 27-30 con lode).

A predominantly mnemonic acquisition of the course's contents together with gaps and deficienciesin terms of language, critical and/or logical skills will result in grades ranging from good (B = 24-26) to satisfactory (C = 21-23).

A low level of knowledge of the course’s contents together with gaps and deficienciesin terms of language, critical and/or logical skills will be considered as ‘barely passing' (D = 18-20) or result in a fail grading (E).

 

 

 

Teaching tools

The students will receive documents useful for the lectures and suggestions about links in the web.


Office hours

See the website of Gustavo Gozzi