Author Archives: Matteo Bonotti

MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory, University of Manchester, 11-13 September 2017

The Substance of Linguistic Justice

Convenors: Matteo Bonotti (Cardiff University) and Yael Peled (McGill University)

Over the past fifteen years, linguistic justice has increasingly become a key area of research in normative political theory. By drawing on existing debates on liberalism, multiculturalism, and social justice, and applying them to language-related issues, political theorists have investigated questions such as the following: how should states respond to the fact of linguistic diversity? Should states officially recognize and promote minority languages? Should states and supranational organizations promote the learning of a shared lingua franca and, if so, is English the best candidate for this role? Answering these and related questions has generated a growing body of literature (e.g. Kymlicka and Patten 2003; De Schutter 2008; Van Parijs 2011; Patten 2014), which has often drawn on examples concerning political communities that display particularly high levels of longstanding linguistic diversity, e.g. Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, and the European Union.

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FINAL CFP: Workshop on ‘Religion, Hate and Offence in a Changing World’

FINAL CALL FOR PAPERS

Workshop on ‘Religion, Hate and Offence in a Changing World’

Cardiff University, School of Law and Politics, 14-15 December 2016

Keynote speaker: Professor Jocelyn Maclure (Université Laval)

This workshop aims to bring together scholars working on the relationship between religion and free speech. This relationship is complex. On the one hand, it has been central to recent discussions of hate speech and offensive speech targeting religious believers, and especially members of religious minorities. For example, the current wave of Islamophobia across Europe, prompted by migratory pressure, an unstable Middle East, and the backlash from the recent terrorist attacks in France and Belgium, has brought the issue of hate speech directed at religious minorities back to the forefront of public debate in western liberal democracies. Furthermore, the tension between freedom of speech and blasphemy continues to elicit public and academic debate, as shown by the 2006 Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy and, more recently, by the Charlie Hebdo controversies and attack. On the other hand, religious believers sometimes defend their use of derogatory and extreme speech against members of other religious faiths, or people with a certain sexual orientation, as part of their religious freedom. Recent examples include Swedish Pastor Ake Green’s likening of homosexuals with ‘cancer’; Tunisian preacher Muhammad Hammami’s anti-semitic remarks; Belfast Pastor James McConnell’s description of Islam as ‘heathen’ and ‘satanic’; and American conservative Evangelical Christian TV evangelist Andrew Wommack’s claim that gay people are ‘not normal’. Religious believers, therefore, can be both victims and instigators of hate speech and offensive speech, and this renders an examination of the relationship between these kinds of speech and religion especially important.

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