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:: Calls :: The 1st Palermo Human Rights & Democracy Graduate Workshop will be held in Palermo, Italy, from 11 – 13 November 2015. Keynote speakers will be Michelangelo Bovero (Torino, -to be confirmed-), Raffaele Bifulco (LUISS Roma), and Pierluigi Chiassoni (Genoa). Deadline for abstracts: 30 June 2015.


Here is the official call for participants.

The Workshop is intended as a platform for sharing of ideas and critiques as well as to establish contacts in order to create a community of young scholars working on related subjects. The core purpose of the Workshop is precisely to create such a community of interaction that goes beyond conventional academic networks and builds on the enthusiasm and energy of next generation scholars. We believe that a confrontation with fellow PhD students from different disciplines working on issues related to human rights and democracy can be greatly beneficial for one’s academic development. The University of Palermo’s PhD in Human Rights, famous for its interdisciplinary focus, presents itself as the perfect venue to host such an event. The creation of international networks is a challenge of this generation of young scholars that has turned international cooperation into its natural environment of work. This Workshop strives to give its modest contribution to this demanding task.

The 2015 Workshop will offer three panels:

1) Human Rights Theory: Open Problems. Norberto Bobbio famously argued that no absolute foundation of human rights could be determined and so the focus should rather be put on their protection. Regardless, we believe that theoretical scrutiny of human rights should be one of the central preoccupations of scholars today. Not only the ever-persisting problems of the foundation and universalization, but also questions of the emerging subjects of human rights (e.g. nonhuman persons, corporations) and the relationship between human rights and other goods (freedom, security, economic growth, environmental protection etc.) require our full attention. This panel will attempt to address some of these important issues, approaching them from a legal theoretical point of view.

2) Human Rights & Democratic Theory: New Challenges and Perspectives. Human rights and democracy have always had a complicated relationship: one the one hand, human rights are said to be the crown jewel of contemporary democratic states; on the other hand, the majoritarian principle continues to be the most important argument in favor of limiting human rights of numerous individuals and minority groups. The panel will seeks to confront the wisdom of the Ancients with the challenges of today, giving scholars specializing in democratic theory the opportunity to contribute to the resolution of this perplexing relationship between human rights and democracy.

3) A Challenge for Democratic States: Guaranteeing Human Rights. The Democratic principle is one of the founding principles stemming from the common constitutional traditions of all EU Member States. Along with Rule of Law, democracy and human rights are two of the three pillars of the Council of Europe, inscribed in the Preamble to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR). Nevertheless, the gap between the declarations made in constitutional charts and the implementation of human rights in practice seems today greater than ever. This panel will attempt to provide critical insight into this growing divide between the multilevel normative affirmation of human rights and the (lack of) implementation in action and answer the question whether democratic States are indeed able to protect the fundamental rights of their citizens as well as of all other individuals on their territory.

At the end of the Workshop the Scientific Committee will select the best papers presented, giving the authors the opportunity to publish their articles in the acclaimed legal theory journal Diritto & Questioni Pubbliche.

Abstracts Submission. Abstract should be no longer than 500 words and should include: the author’s name and academic affiliation, the title of the paper, max. five keywords and an indication of the preferred panel and format (see below). The abstracts should be sent as a pdf file, named as follows: NameInitial.SURNAME.Abstract (Example: J.SMITH.Abstract). Abstracts should be sent to: palermo.humanrights.workshop@gmail.com.

The papers that will be chosen by the Scientific Committee will in any case be subject to further peer review, as dictated by the rules of the journal. The authors of the papers will be notified of the selection via e-mail.

Formats. Individual oral presentations: the presenter will be given 20 minutes for his or her presentation. Group presentations: Students are invited to coordinate among themselves to create an interactive discussion on a topic of their choice analyzed from different perspectives or discussed from conflicting points of view. At least 3 students have to share the time available. They will be given 45 minutes for the presentation and additional 30 minutes for the general debate. Passive participation: participation at the Workshop is also open to all who do not wish to submit their work for presentation (non-presenting students).

Target Audience. PhD students interested in the human rights & democracy debate, specializing in disciplines such as legal philosophy, political philosophy, public law, environmental law, and other related disciplines. PhD’s who have obtained their title no earlier than in 2012 are also invited to participate. If you do not fall within either category but are interested to participate, you are welcomed to contact the organizational committee.

Registration. Participation at the event is free of charge. However, registration is obligatory for active and passive participants alike. Please, send your registration to our email address: palermo.humanrights.workshop@gmail.com.

Deadlines & Important datesuniversit_palermo_400_01

30 June 2015: Deadline for abstracts.
31 July 2015: Notification of acceptance of abstracts.
14 August 2015: Final deadline for the confirmation of participation of selected presenters & for the registration of non-presenting participants.

Housing. Accommodation is not guaranteed by the organizer. However, participants not residing in Palermo can rent a room at the ERSU Palermo (Ente Regionale per il Diritto allo Studio Universitario), at budget prices. For further information, please contact us at: palermo.humanrights.workshop@gmail.com. In addition, participants may find useful information about accommodation at reasonable prices here: http://www.budgetplaces.com/palermo/ http://www.hostelworld.com/

Official languages
English, Italian, Spanish

Scientific Committee
Michelangelo Bovero, Marco Brigaglia, Bruno Celano, Pierluigi Chiassoni, Raffaele Bifulco, Giorgio Pino, Aldo Schiavello, Isabel Trujillo, Vittorio Villa

Scientific Supervisor
Marco Brigaglia

Organizational Committee
Irene Grifò, Giulia Sajeva, Matija Žgur