After Human Rights?
Event Date: 26 February 2010 6pm – 8pm:
Room B36, Birkbeck Main Building
5 pm Reception All Welcome
speakers: Costas Douzinas, Conor Gearty and Adam Weiss
Leah Bassel and Engin F. Isin (Co-chairs)
In the wake of the 60th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this public discussion panel seeks to explore a central and increasing tension between, on the one hand, the human rights tradition which dissociates rights from membership in a bounded community by making rights universal and, on the other hand, the modern tradition of citizenship that links rights and political participation to a nation-state. Conventional understandings and practices of the relationship between rights, recognition, territory and membership are increasingly blurred and it has become imperative to generate vocabularies, conceptual tools and programmes for action that are equal to the challenge of understanding and addressing the exclusion and marginalisation of rightless others in a globalising world. The panelists will examine, challenge and rethink the tension between ‘particular, nationally-bounded’ citizenship and ‘natural’ human rights drawing on the insights of theoretical and empirical scholarship and of the politics of human rights activism.
Introduction by Engin F. Isin and Leah Bessel
Leah Bassel, City University London. Leah Bassel examines the politics of citizenship and integration, focusing on the interface between normative and empirical approaches to debates over women’s rights and forced migration. Her work has been published in Government and Opposition, Parliamentary Affairs and Community Development Journal. She is currently preparing a monograph on the politics of refugee women’s integration in Canada and France.
Costas Douzinas, Birkbeck College. Costas Douzinas has published widely published on human rights, empire, justice, and the law. He taught at Middlesex, Lancaster and Birkbeck where he was appointed in 1992 as a member of the team, which established the Birkbeck School of Law. His latest book Human Rights and Empire: The Political Philosophy of Cosmopolitanism was published in 2007.
Conor Gearty, LSE. Conor Gearty has published widely in the fields of terrorism, civil liberties and human rights. He has approached all these subjects in an inter- ‐disciplinary manner, and in particular has sought to locate them in their legal and political and historical contexts. His latest book, Essays on Human Rights and Terrorism’, was published in 2008.
Engin F. Isin, The Open University. Engin Isin has published widely on the politics of citizenship involving various sites, scales and subjects. From Cities Without Citizens (1992) to Being Political (2002) his concern has been to document historically how citizenship has been contested by its ‘others’ (strangers, outsiders, aliens) and how their claims to rights has constituted them as responsible subjects. His latest book Acts of Citizenship (edited with G. Nielsen) was published in 2008. Adam Weiss, AIRE Centre (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe).
Adam Weiss is the Assistant Director of the AIRE Centre, a London- ‐based charity whose mission is to promote awareness of European law rights and assist vulnerable and marginalised individuals in asserting those rights. He is involved in representing applicants in cases before the European Court of Human Rights and in providing written legal advice to individuals on their rights under EU law .
- Open University (CCIG),
- The Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities,
- City University (Sociology),
- Oxford University (COMPAS)