096 What Legal Boundaries for the “Open Society” in Contemporary Europe?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017: 4:00 PM-5:45 PM
Turnbull Room (University of Glasgow)
In an era of unprecedented inflows of migrants into Europe, as much unprecedented is the pressure on the concept of “open society” within the terms in which it materializes in European  law, i.e. in the European Convention of Human Rights and in the law of the European Union. The reason is that migrants’ culture is typically different than that of the majority of Europeans and their cultural diversity in principle enjoys protection in the human rights narrative. Yet there is opposition to this, both in the political discourse  and in private settings. Interestingly, opposition is sometimes put forward in the very name of the concept of “open society”, which would be threatened should some individual rights obtain protection in specific situations or, in the long run, should the “new” cultures prevail. In another perspective, new political movements usually labelled as populistic and traditional nationalist parties share the idea that European society should defend itself from the growing cultural invasion brought along by migrants in order to protect its own identity.

Against this background, the Panel focuses on the extent to which cultural diversity, i.e. one of the highlights of the concept of “open society”, may actually be treated as a threat to the latter. In legal terms, this requires a discussion on the limits, if any, for the protection of those individual rights that best embodies cultural diversity and on alternative legal tools to protect the “open society” from its discontents as well as from potentially dangerous behaviours.

Giandonato Caggiano
Discussant :
Pasquale Santi Pirrone
What Legal Identity for the "Open Society" in European Law?
Emanuela Pistoia, University of Teramo (Italy)
Cultural Diversity and Protection of Gender Identity
Adriana Di Stefano, University of Catania (Italy)
Which Role for the "Integration Clauses" in an Open Society?
Daniela Vitiello, University of Roma Tre
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