Migration, Human Rights and the Politics of Identity in a Globalized World [April 21-22, 2012] Rabat, Morocco.
This international conference on "Migration, Human Rights and the Politics of Identity in a Globalized World" will engage with the ways migrancy is re-shaping the world not simply in movement but, through movement, in relations. It will take up central components of migration and globalization such as labor, cultural membership, race, human rights, deterritorialization, transnationationl communities and the implications of migration and globalization on traditional referents such as the nation-state and citizenship. The overall objective is to engage critically with globalization, migration policy and the current dynamics affecting peoples, cultures and politics across nations and boundaries. The conference will pay particular attention to the ways the revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East affect migration dynamics in this region.
The conference will reflect on what a number of commentators have described as a new global paradigm: an international system of minority rule that promotes inequality, disparities and differential access to basic human rights, wealth and power. It is thus the opposite of global democracy and has been used to describe the emerging unjust outcomes of neo-liberal economic globalisation by commentators such as Richard Falk. Contributions should examine the interaction between migrant cultures and local cultural politics, technology and migration, citizenship and diaspora and should look into the impact of migration on local cultures in host and countries of origin. We also encourage contributions from academics, policy makers and artists. Contributions and presentations in English or French are welcome.
The proceedings of the conference will be published in an edited volume by the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences, University Mohammed V-Agdal, Rabat.
The panels in the conference will include:
I. Global Capital & Transnational Protests
The eruption of protests across the world has given rise to a number of readings. For Paul Gilding in The Great Disruption, the protests show that the capitalist system has reached its "financial ecological limits." For others, the protests constitute the early stages of a "big shift" characterized by dysfunctional institutions. Furthermore the fact that an international minority governs the world, encourages inequality, disparities, and differential access to human rights, wealth, and power.
This panel will address the circulation of capital and roots and routes of recent protests across the world. Topics may include:
1. Emergent theories regarding the eruption of protests
2. Youth protests in MENA region
3. Anti-globalization protests in Europe and the US
4. Prospects for the international economic, social and political systems
II. Mobility & Political Change in North Africa
Four migration systems prevailed in North Africa before the uprisings. The first one is from North Africa to Europe; the second is from North Africa to the Gulf; the third is intra-regional mainly to Libya; the fourth system is trans-Saharan to North Africa. The key question is how the recent uprisings will affect these various migration systems and bring about either "an involuntary mobility" or "forced mobility."
Topics in this panel may include:
1. Protests and mobility
2. Refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants following the recent political changes in MENA region
3. The transformations of the Mediterranean space as a result of recent political events
4. Race, ethnicity and religion in the aftermath of recent political events
III. Recent Political Change & Human Rights Dependency
The political change in North Africa brought about by the recent uprisings has pushed to the forefront the issue of human rights dependency. The question of whether a humanitarian intervention in Libya is ethically justified has been raised in the case of Libya, but has also been debated in the case of other uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East.
This panel will explore the idea that human rights promotion in the region can only be viable through European intervention. Topics may include:
1. UN role in recent events in the region
2. The role of governments in effecting change in the region
3. The role of local and international humanitarian organizations in protecting human rights
4. Reappropriation of human rights claims in recent political events in MENA region
IV. Retheorizing Social Movements and Social Revolutions
This panel will consider the ways recent events have problematized the prevalent frames of engagement with social revolutions. Panelists will reflect on the roles that social movements have played in the recent uprisings and the dynamics between Islamists and other movements. They will also address the extent to which social movements in the region have redefined state sovereignty and affected "liberalized autocracies."
V. Transnational geographies of Culture
This panel will explore ways in which the recent uprisings have enabled the emergence of transnational communities. The focus will also be on the role of media coverage in affecting cultural and national belonging, new configurations of cultural resistance, and innovative modes of cultural practice (i.e. Libyan cartoonist Kais al-Hilali's satirical representations of the regime of Kaddafi or Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff's interaction with Arab uprisings).
Topics in this panel may include:
1. The circulation of artifacts and the export of meaning
2. The ways cultural translation has operated in the recent events
3. The deployment of art in the recent protests
4. The role of social media in mobilizing protests
VI. Women's Rights in the New Global Configurations
By taking an active part in the recent uprisings, women in North Africa have defied the stereotypical construction of them as passive, apolitical, and inconsequential. Both local and international dynamics triggered in the Arab spring have created opportunities for women's rights.
Questions in this panel may include:
1. What is the place of women's rights in the new revolutionary public sphere?
2. How are women's rights addressed in the new constitutions in the region?
3. How has the reception of CEDAW been affected by the recent political events in the region?
4. What are the prospects for women's rights after the uprisings?
VII. Migration, Human Rights & Institutional Dynamics
Engagement in this panel will be with the various institutional frameworks of action in the domains of human rights and migration. Engagement will also be with the ways in which recent uprisings have affected modes of action of both official and unofficial, national and international organizations.
Questions in this panel may include:
1. What are the conditions of possibility for migration to be become an "informed choice rather than a strategy of survival"?
2. To what extent have the recent uprisings enabled a rights-based approach to migration?
3. What new roles do human rights institutions play in promoting social, economic, and political justice?
4. Will regime change in the region affect the role played by new elected bodies in the promotion of human rights?
The Conference will cover accommodation, board and international travel for participants. The proceedings of the conference will be published in a book by University Mohammed V - Agdal, Rabat, Morocco