Call for papers. International Webinar on the “Struggles for recognition: Cultural diversity and rights of minorities”



In May 2020, a Webinar on the “Struggles for recognition: Cultural diversity and rights of minorities” will be held online and at Carlos III University of Madrid, Spain. The Webinar boasts panels of international experts divided into the key topics. Each panel will discuss papers, which will be distributed in advance to the participants.


Participants will be connected through Carlos III’s online platform. The topics will be the following:


a) National minorities. Immigration. 

b) Ethnic minorities. Racial minorities. Indigenous people.

c) Gender minorities. Women. LGBT.

d) Marginalised people (or marginalised groups).

e) Theoretical and methodological approaches.


If you are interested, please send an abstract (up to 300 words) to  and  by 15 June 2020.


Final acceptance of papers will take place on 20 June 2020.


The deadline for papers (up to 15 pages, 1.5 spacing, Harvard Quotation Style) is 15 July 2020. Papers will released to the participants before the Webinar.


The Webinar sessions will be held between 15-30 July 2020.


Webinar papers will be published in an ebook by Dykinson Editorial, Spain, which is one of the best Spanish editorials for Law and in an ebook in the Brazilian Editorial EdUSU.



Do not hesitate to contact the Coordinators if you have any queries or would like further information.




Monique Falcao, St. Ursula University, Brazil


Oscar Pérez de la Fuente, Carlos III University of Madrid, Spain

Accepted participants:

1.- Aziz BERDIQULOV, European Centre for Minority Issues in Flensburg, Germany.

Mechanisms of national minority recognition in post-Soviet states. Cases of Kazakhstan, Lithuania, and Russia” 

The proposed paper will focus on the mechanisms of recognition of national minorities present in several post-Soviet countries, that is Kazakhstan, Lithuania, and the Russian Federation. These three states, despite sharing a similar past and legal traditions, currently present different patterns of post-Soviet development, including national legal systems and minority-related policies. Kazakhstan is often considered as economically advanced and ethnically diverse country in the region of Central Asia and is a signatory to the Convention on Guarantee of Rights of Persons Belonging to National Minorities of the Commonwealth of Independent States (the Convention draws from the UN and OSCE minority protection standards). Lithuania is a relatively small country, but it hosts numerous minorities and adheres to various international and European standards concerning protection of minority-related rights. Russia is one of the main regional powers, with various national groups and indigenous peoples living on its territory and governed by the state’s extensive legal system. Both Lithuania and Russia are state parties to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorites of the Council of Europe.

The paper aims to establish whether legal systems of these three countries provide  mechanisms of recognition of national minorities (defined in the paper as a set of codified criteria), search for similarities and differences, as well as analyse to what extent these legal systems were shaped by the Soviet legacy and how this translates into contemporary practices concerning minorities. The paper will further discuss cases of minorities seeking for recognition and assess whether provided mechanisms suffice as an initial tool for the protection of minority rights. Finally, the paper will draw from international best practices and - if necessary - propose recommendations concerning improvements of discussed recognition mechanisms.


2.- Mr. Kounta Alhadje Aly GARBA Et Meriem BAGHDADI.

“De la de?sue?tude du nationalisme ’heure du Pacte Mondial sur les Migrations ?”

Dans un monde de plus en plus globalise?, les blocs de pays et de communaute?s continuent a? vouloir s’isoler.

258 millions de migrants internationaux dans le monde. Ils repre?sentent 3,4 % de la population mondiale, 59 % des migrants internationaux vivent dans un pays de l’OCDE, Six sur dix viennent d'un pays du Sud, 90 millions de migrants Sud-Sud repre?sentent 29 % de l’ensemble des mouvements migratoire.

Pratiquement tous les Etats du monde se sont engage?s a? prote?ger, respecter et re?aliser les droits de l’homme, non seulement de leurs nationaux, mais de toute personne sous leur juridiction

Les migrants ont des droits Dans le syste?me international et re?gional des droits humains, les migrants ont tous: le droit a? l’e?galite? et la non-discrimination, le droit a? la liberte? d’expression et d’association, le droit a? un recours utile, le droit de ne pas e?tre renvoye?s vers la torture, les droits des enfants, les droits des femmes, les droits des personnes handicape?es, le droit a? des conditions de travail de?centes, ...

Sur le territoire national, le citoyen jouit automatiquement de tous les droits reconnus par la loi; l’e?tranger est souvent dans une position de « demandeur ».

Mais au fond, cette querelle pose une belle question de philosophie politique qui n’est pas nouvelle, on la retrouvait de?ja? en germe dans la Gre?ce antique : le nationalisme est-il compatible avec l’humanisme de?mocratique ou, dit autrement, la de?mocratie est-elle une affaire d’identite? ou de valeur ?

Plusieurs phe?nome?nes (tous relie?s de loin ou de pre?s a? la mondialisation) contribuent a? atte?nuer le poids de l’E?tat-nation. Les contestations face a? cette atte?nuation se font alors de plus en plus fortes et nombreuses. Mais finalement, quelles sont les perspectives d’une plane?te comple?tement unifie?e ?(le Pacte Mondiale sur les Migrations). Il est e?vident que concernant les frontie?res, les enjeux lie?s sont trop importants pour qu’elles s’effacent entie?rement.

Ainsi pour aborder ce sujet, nous nous pencherons sur trois parties, a? savoir :

I-Le nationalisme est une alerte populiste

II- Les limite?s du droit de la migration

III- Valeurs du Pacte Mondial sur les Migrations

IV- Conclusion et recommandations

3.- Oscar PÉREZ de la FUENTE, Carlos III University of Madrid, Spain.

“On recognition” 

Honneth’s approach to understanding recognition, as a central value in the moral grammar of current societies, distinguishes three levels of disrespect: a) The first is the physical abuse that destroys a person’s basic self-confidence; b) The second is when an individual is subjected by being structurally excluded from possessing certain rights within the society; c) The third is when individual or collective ways of life are denigrated.

Recognition is an ideal for minorities’ defenders, which is usually linked with ‘status’, ‘honour’, ‘dignity’ and is based on reciprocity. It is the central value of justice for Honneth’s approach, contrasting with other views based only on redistribution or a combination of both values. Disrespect happens when there is a lack of recognition. This paper aims to analyse in what way hate speech is a form of disrespect –and lack of recognition- for minorities within Honneth’s Theory of Justice, focused on recognition.

4.- Giulia PAROLA, Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro -UNIRIO. Brazil.

 "What Can We Learn from Indigenous Law and Methodology?

Indigenous knowledge, observations, cosmologies and traditions (that, in one expression, we define as “indigenous law”) have drawn criticism for adopting ‘non-scientific’ and ‘non-objective’ methods. The way to respond to this challenge is by rejecting accounts of objectivity that rely on the universalization of models (that can derive from State-oriented perspectives, colonialist approaches and in general from asymmetric relations of powers) and by endorsing alternative proposals that leave room for indigenous worldviews (by means of the “indigenous methodology”). The indigenous methodology, therefore, takes due account of indigenous and local perspectives and integrates them with further relevant existing data on key issues such as human rights protection, procedural and substantive environmental rights, food safety and security, right to free movement of peoples, immigration and gender. At the heart of the indigenous methodological approach is a deep and abiding commitment to identifying, articulating, and applying the intellectual resources from indigenous legal orders to the work of rebuilding indigenous citizenries and governance. In other words, the indigenous methodology brings us back the indigenous law treasure, together with its teachings. In this vein, we have identified three key lessons learned by adopting an indigenous methodology that takes into account indigenous perspectives, traditions and worldviews and these key lessons are connected to the values of coexistence, inclusion and resilience.


5.- Margherita Paola POTO, Univesità degli Studi di Torino, Italy. Norwegian Center for the Law of the Sea. Norway.

Indigenous Peoples and the protection of the Arctic environment: a focus on the Sámi people”

My talk will focus on the diversified range of tools that via international instruments, regional agreements and national legal provisions has been granted to indigenous groups in the Arctic. The analysis of fundamental and procedural rights aims to describe such guarantees as a continuum, rather than a fragmented and sectoral set of conquests, as well as a stepping stone towards the resurgence of indigenous systems of governance.


6.- Pedro C. S. AVZARADEL, Prof. Adjunto - UFF/PUVR, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  

"A critical analysis of amendment bill 215\2000 to the Brazilian Constitution and indigenous people rights in Brazil."

This paper aims to critically analyze the Constitutional Amendment Bill nº 215/2000 and the possible effects of its approval on the current context of official contempt expressed to the native peoples (expressed in several official speeches), for their customs, their way of being and living, and, in a  materialistic dimension (ours), of disregard for their territoriality. For this purpose, it will analyze studies, opinions and other documents related to the rights of the native peoples, focusing on this Amendment Bill, as well as on some official documents that argue its compatibility with the Brasilian Constitution today. As to be shown, regardless the bill is not on the schedule at the moment, the current context favors the adoption of instruments such as this one, which justifies the relevance of the present paper.


7.- Arianna PORRONE. PhD candidate Global Studies. Justice, Rights, Politics, University of Macerata, Italy.

“An ethics of care to rethink tribal people’s displacement in the Amazon.”

Development narratives and over-growth practices perpetrated by neoliberal economies have induced a widespread and complex environmental crisis. Global governance actors are trapped in a multilateral system that is unable to respond to such challenges (Wichterich, 2019), alone. New theories emerging from the Community Economies scholarship are increasingly focusing attention on achieving better worlds by recognizing the diverse and interrelated ways in which human communities may interact with the environment in securing our livelihoods (Dombroski et al., 2019).

The construction of the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Power Plant in the Xingu Basin, Brazil, which is causing the displacement of 60.000 people, among which indigenous peoples from 18 ethnic groups and 40 000 tribal peoples, is an emblematic case of institutional blindness to thriving local economies of care.

While displacement for infrastructure or large-scale developing projects, both in its abstract and more concrete meanings, may involve significant economic, social, cultural and political changes for many, it may also have particularly serious consequences for indigenous and tribal peoples’ livelihood and agro-ecological spaces.


Reflecting on concepts such as care-full community economies, commoning practices of care vis-àvis civil law notions such as “property” or “possession”, which are frequently equally used in displacement practices, this presentation aims at: 1) problematising development as a space of objection; 2) engaging with otherwise narratives of displacement.

8.- Olga Lucía ABELLO RESTREPO, graduated in Law (Pontifical Javeriana University), specialist in Public Law (Externado University of Colombia), Carlos III University of Madrid.

 “Cultural diversity and criminal law within a context of legal pluralism: The Colombian case”

The recognition of cultural diversity has become a challenge for most of Latin-American countries with indigenous population. This is the case of Colombia, which has not only recognized that constitutional principle but has also institutionalized a special jurisdiction for indigenous affairs. The coexistence of different sources of law and the tension between universal and particular conceptions of human rights, have led to the occurrence of cultural conflicts in Colombia. We can all agree that it is in the criminal law arena where this challenge becomes more defying, as this branch of law has been entrusted with the protection of the most precious legal assets of the human beings; such as life, personal integrity, security, liberty and patrimony.

In this scenario, the proposed paper will focus on answering the following questions: ¿how could we guarantee equality within criminal law in a society integrated by cultural diverse groups?, ¿the same legal treatment is owed to a person who has been raised according to the regulations of the hegemonic State and an indigenous person who has lived all of his life in a reservation and who doesn’t even understand the official language in which the state´s Law is written?. Additionally, ¿is it possible to maintain the idea of an homogenous and unitary State within a context of cultural pluralism?, ¿which treatment should criminal law give to the behaviors that, despite being prohibited by the hegemonic legal system, are accepted or even approved by a culturally differentiated group ?

9.- Ida NAFSTAD, Department of Sociology of Law (University of Lund, Sweden) & Marc H. VALLÉS, PhD student in Law (University of Girona, Spain).

“The Roma community - victims of epistemic injustice in the legal field”

The Roma arrived in the Old Continent when the modern-state form began to develop. Since then, Roma has been subjected to harsh political and legal pragmatics that contributed to develop a strongly negative and rooted “gypsy” identity to the social imaginary. At present, many advances have been made in relation to human rights and the recognition of Roman identity and culture, however, it seems that the legal field continues to reproduce what Miranda Fricker calls “epistemic injustice”. The stereotypes and prejudices surrounding the Roma extend to institutionalized sectors such as the police and the judiciary, with its risk of a credibility deficit of Roma testimonies in these sectors motivated by deteriorated identity, perpetuating testimonial injustice. An example of such is the widespread arbitrary detention conducted by the police. On the other hand, the Roma community has institutionalized the Kris as a way to resolve intra-group disputes which, however, remains unrecognized by the nation-state. There is a lack of knowledge on the part of the judges regarding the categories, meanings and norms that regulate the intra-group life of the Roma, and the consequent systematic application of state laws. In these cases, the lack of understanding of judicial decisions by the Roma agents involved could be considered a type of hermeneutical injustice. Consequently, this paper intends to address the following questions; what role has the legal field played in the construction of Roma communities as a "subaltern culture", and is the legal field still a reproductive space of epistemic injustice? Once the two dimensions of epistemic injustice have been detected - testimonial injustice and hermeneutic injustice - it is necessary to propose possible solutions to reverse the situation; are there ways to eradicate this kind of injustice?

10.- Valentina de GREGORIO, Università del Studi di Torino.


Arctic Indigenous Peoples: From Climate Change Challenges to Food System Resilience”

Temperature rise is severely threating the survival of indigenous populations. This is true all over the world, especially in the Arctic region. There, the high increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) and greenhouse gas emissions combined with the rise of sea levels are not part of a relatively recent story, but rather phenomena steadily caused by man’s overexploitation of natural resources, including oil and gas extraction projects, commercial fishing activities as well as the systematic deforestation of large parts of the Great Northern Forest by the paper industry. What previously was part of Earth’s elements, over the years has become a commodity, with devastating effects on those pristine territories which Arctic Indigenous Peoples had lived in and had carefully nurtured. Food insecurity, contaminations and loss of livelihood are concrete risks faced by native communities in their daily lives. Some take refuge in urban settlements within their country, thus leaving huge rural territories in the hands of myopic local and global policies. Others decide to stay, making climate-resilient solutions a reality. By exploring the current situation of the race for the Arctic, in terms of available resources and the geopolitical sphere of influence, the author will focus on the impacts Arctic climate conditions have on the survival of indigenous Arctic people, contributing towards shedding light on the role that indigenous traditional food systems have in offering new, alternative and efficient solutions to poverty and misery in Arctic and Sub-Arctic rural areas.   



11.- Chiaretta GIORDANO, Meitar Center for Food Safety and food Security


“Indigenous Peoples and Food Security: Legal Obligation Towards a Right to Cultural Food”


In its most recent report, the FAO declared that indigenous peoples experience higher rates of malnutrition and chronic diseases than the rest of population. Considering these unstable health conditions, in 2010, the UNPFII stated an escalating process of tribes’ extinction.

The paper aims to show that the vulnerability of indigenous peoples provides a necessity for requesting a new elaboration to the right to food, that meets the native communities’ needs. To request the realization of a right to cultural food, the paper recalls three legal and moral principles to be leveraged.


The paper demonstrates that the regulatory system and the global food regime have misunderstood indigenous peoples’ demands, supporting quantity rather than culturally adequate food. Employing anthropological literature and medical data, I argue that for those indigenous peoples resilient to their heritage and ancestral lands, food not only ensures nutritional benefits but also symbolizes a way of life. Thus, when access to traditional food or the use of rituals during meal preparation are threatened, I evidence that indigenous peoples face acute malnutrition, premature mortality, alongside the loss of identity. These conditions cause severe damages to the individual and community, not least to tribe’s existence.

The normative discussion in the paper shows the possible diverse scholarly responses to the realization of a right to cultural food, raised as solution to indigenous peoples’ food insecurity. Notwithstanding, claiming both self-determination and human dignity principles as well as cultural rights, the paper asserts the urgency of the evolution and adaptation of the international legal framework to the indigenous issue, indicating that a legal obligation towards a right to cultural food is essential and has positive implications on the health of indigenous peoples, and on the safeguard of their all-time food security.


12.- Tatiana BARANDOVA, PhD in Sociology. Associated Professor, Department of International Relations, Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration;


Associated Professor, Department of World Politics and Political Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics (Saint-Petersburg Campus), Russian federation


“‘On-Going Blasphemy’ or Pussy Riot Casus Dynamics via Argumentation Worlds Frame”


Since the year 2012 mass public rallies in several big cities of Russia, when and after the most dramatic changes of political and legal regimes has happened, there were quite many attempts undertaken to reflect both the material and symbolical meanings of post-effects of “struggle” for democracy (in a performative way). The most well-known globally, and might be considered so to say the mist “poignant”, was the case of Pussy Riot, who were convicted as a “blasphemy”-makers and imprisoned. This case still might be considered as the most unclear to classification, specifically in a legal frames, as it is still having the impact on new forms of political protest in the situation of mixed simultaneously transformations: economically neo-liberal, socially neo-patriarchate, politically hybrid authoritarian backlash (actually on-going not only in contemporary Russia, rather to say – globally). The case itself is necessary to analyze, on my mind, attracting the theoretical model of the “argumentation worlds”, provided by Luc Boltanski and Laurent Teveno (i.e. in “De la justification”, 1991) which is providing several direction of framing the discourses rising in public conflicts (and protests). The model allows to consider in dynamics positions of majority of actors, involved in the resolving and/or developing the situations (including legal, political, different social groups, etc) and produced publicly also in media environment. The case of Pussy Riot is specifically interesting for study still, as it was the first with introducing “theological” arguments in to the secular Constitutional basis of Russian (post-soviet) state and Criminal Code applying. It was not unique in a global/historical perspective, but anyway it had became the symbolical “point of no return” also in human rights protection institutions, specifically on the freedom of expression for social (ideologically engaged youth) activists’ circles, applying to cultural practices as a weapon of resistance and protests. In the paper to be analytically reviewed on-going changes in discourses, practical attempts to articulate and protect democratic and human rights values in the most involved segments of Russian society, and political respond with and via legislative “adaptations” of secular legal regime to religious (Christian Orthodox) ideology by using and/or manipulating with the concept of “Blasphemy” during the period 2012-2020 in Russia (considering as the “final point” the on-going Constitution changes to be adopted by April 2020).



13.- Gustavo BARETIERI. Universidade Santa Ursula, Brazil


“The cimbrians and their “Law”: A possibility of Langobard Laws continuum”


The present paper will try to represent the historical-social context of a linguistic minority group in Northern Italy (the cimbrians), from the period between the middle ages and contemporaneity. Because of the constant population decrease (which remains accentuated since the period of the great immigration in the 19th century) and the imminence of the cultural identities loss of it’s inhabitants, this work arises with the aim of analyzing and valuing singular aspects of the Cimbrian culture, considering it’s old legal system as one of the fundamental aspects that helped in the preservation of this population’s identity throughout a historical process, which marked its beginning in the Middle Ages and extended until the Napoleonic Invasion. The Cimbrians, in addition to the linguistic peculiarity of preserving one of the most archaic German dialects still been used in the world, have historically presented, in their legal institutes and special statutes, rules that refer to the possibility of thinking about a continuum of the Longobard Laws application linked to the Feudal Law - through “le carte di regole”, a system of self-organization of the community and collective property. It is believed that, as a result, some remnants of the phenomenon of medieval legal pluralism may have persisted until the point of rupture of this process with the Napoleonic Invasion. This process reversed the assumption of the “ius” production, a hypothesis considered by this author, as the event that marks a change in legal mentality - and that contributes linked to other factors, to this people identities loss. In order to establish the theoretical bases of this work, it is even sought to work on the organization of political power in the territory and some of its main historical developments. The theoretical construction was conceived within the categories of State formation: People, Government and Territory; although it has been understood in the light of Paolo Grossi’s perspective, for whom the model of Medieval State presents itself as an incomplete Power and therefore, that these characteristics do not conform in their fullness.

14.- María-Cruz LA CHICA, PhD in Hispanic American Literature from the Complutense University of Madrid, she is the author of the book Narrative of Mayan Oral Tradition Tojolabal (2017) as a result of her stay in indigenous communities in Mexico.


“Current situation of women's rights in Latin American indigenous regulatory systems: towards a state of affairs”


Latin America’s indigenous women, far from enjoying a situation of equality with men in their respective communities, suffer different forms of oppression intertwined in their institutions, customs and normative principles. The majority of Latin American constitutions acknowledge the legal validity of these institutions, customs and norms, yet have also ratified a number of international human rights conventions in which equality between men and women is a fundamental principle. This has created a situation which calls upon Latin American states to face this juridical problem. To approach it from the perspective of the social sciences, we urgently need empirical studies capable of offering a general view of the problem. In the present work, I have taken a first step in that direction , based on a revision of the anthropological, juridical and sociological literatures , and on the official figures that give an account of the human rights situation of indigenous women within the normative systems of their own communities.

15.- Dwight NEWMAN, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

"Peoples and Persons in UNDRIP"

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), adopted in a General Assembly resolution in 2007, is noted for various provisions within it providing for collective rights at international law. However, a number of provisions of the Declaration also provide for individual rights of Indigenous persons, sometimes as members of Indigenous peoples, and some provide for Indigenous peoples to define responsibilities of individual Indigenous persons. The Declaration thus contains complex interactions between peoples and persons in an international law context. This paper seeks to unpack the complex place of individual persons within UNDRIP. It first engages at a textual level with the provisions of the Declaration that bear on individuals in international law. Second, it probes the drafting history of these provisions to the extent that such a record exists, thus seeking to understand better the intention of these provisions. Third, it categorizes these provisions. Fourth, it seeks to offer a theory of their broader implications and deeper meaning in terms of how international law interacts with both collective entities and individuals and, indeed, in some instances regulates their interaction. Fifth, it seeks to draw broader lessons concerning the role of individuals in developing international law in related areas. In probing more deeply an international law instrument – albeit one technically of a “soft law” character – that is more noted for recognizing rights of collective entities but that also affects individuals at international law, the paper thus suggests that international law has more interactions with individual persons than sometimes realized. At the same time, it suggests that there needs to be more extensive theoretical engagement with the way in which international legal instruments regulate interactions of collective entities and individuals, partly in order to lessen international law fragmentation that would otherwise arise from conflicts with other international law instruments more directly focused on individual persons.  





                             updated: 1 April 2020