Human Rights in the Age of Inequality: Xenophobia, Exclusion and the Myth of the Strong Leader

Matteo Salvini and Viktor Orban © AP

It is a common assumption that we have entered an era of exacerbating social inequalities, in a manner unforeseen in the Western world after WWII. Social policies of wealth redistribution are considered outdated and responsible for the major competitiveness deficit of developed economies. Within such circumstances, democracies are morally discredited and seem politically exhausted. The rule of law and human rights are often perceived as unreasonable luxuries, or even as threats to state security. Xenophobia, racism and the far right have re-emerged, relieved of the guilt of the 20th century, and the discourse of “strong leaders” has become more and more authoritarian. From Russia to Brazil and from Turkey to the United States institutions have lost legitimacy. Can there be a plausible strategy of reversal?

Dr Kostis Karpozilos (PhD, University of Crete) is a historian and the director of the Contemporary Social History Archives (ASKI) in Athens. Prof. Dimitris Christopoulos (PhD, University of Picardy Jules Verne) is a writer, activist, and Professor of State and Legal Theory in the Department of Political Science and History of the Panteion University of Athens. Dr Karpozilos and Prof. Christopoulos recently co-authored 10+1 Questions and Answers on the Macedonian Question (Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, 2018).

Refreshments provided.



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