Monthly Archives: February 2009

Lani Roberts: “Are Women Human Yet?” Podcast Now Available

 

Dr. Lani Roberts’s thought-provoking lecture is now available as a free podcast from the OSU iTunes store  (Launch iTunes on your computer, go down to Lectures, then to Ideas Matter, and click on the tab for Roberts).

Dr. Lani Roberts

Dr. Lani Roberts

In her talk, Dr. Roberts reflects on whether women were meant to be included in the protections offered by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  She begins by noticing the lack of gender inclusive language in the original articles of the declaration and then considers the lack of enforcement of various conventions that would end discrimination against women worldwide.  

What does it say about the United States, for instance, that it is the only developed nation in the world not to ratify the Convention to End All Forms of Discrimination Against Women?

Despite the world’s lack of progress toward ending gender inequality, Dr. Roberts ends on a hopeful note, recognizing that the United Nations has made a concerted effort, through the Day for Social Justice, to keep the issue of discrimination against women at the forefront of concern for the global community.

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Upcoming Lecture: “Are Women Human Yet?” Dr. Lani Roberts

On Thursday, February 19, 2009, at 7pm, Dr. Lani Roberts will deliver her Ideas Matter Lecture.  Here is an abstract of the talk:

Do women have rights under the Declaration of Human Rights?   If not, what does this say about women’s humanness?  We will look at three ways of claiming that women are not in fact included in most of the Declaration.  If women are deemed fully human, what explains the horrific violations we suffer worldwide?   The United Nations General Assembly enacted the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in 1979, some 30 years after the Declaration of Human Rights.  Why was it considered necessary?  What is required for women’s rights asserted in law (de jure) to become actual rights (de facto) in our lived lives?  

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Jorge Valadez “Immigration, Human Rights, and Global Justice Framework” Podcast Now Available

The free podcast of Jorge Valadez’s talk is now available from the OSU iTunes store.

Dr. Roberts and Jorge Valadez talk before the lecture

Dr. Roberts and Jorge Valadez talk before the lecture

In this lecture, Dr. Valadez assesses the position that immigration ought to be considered a universal human right (emigration is recognized as a human right–the right to leave your own nation). Doing so would mean that nations would have to have an open borders policy and allow any human being to enter their territory.

Dr. Valadez argues that doing away with border controls would not necessarily be compatible with other global justice concerns and would not necessarily allow nations to address their moral duties to the most needy human beings, such as refugees and former colonial subjects.

Valadez advocates for more liberal immigration policies, but ones tailored by nation states to recognize their moral commitments to the global community, especially the duty to alleviate global poverty and to protect the environment for the well-being of future human communities.

Download the lecture and tell us your thoughts on immigration and human rights!

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Jorge Valadez on Immigration and Global Justice

This week Dr. Jorge Valadez joins us for Ideas Matter.  Here is a preview of the talk:

The primary focus of this talk will be on the issue of whether immigration should be regarded as a universal human right.  Dr. Valadez will critically examine some of the justifications that have been given for the view that immigration should be added to the list of commonly recognized human rights. His primary contention is that national policies on immigration, in order to be considered moral or just, should be understood within the context of a global theory of justice.  When seen from this context, we will be able to appreciate the problems with the claim that immigration is a human right, even while recognizing that countries owe strong moral obligations to one another that can be partially discharged by more liberal immigration policies.

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Jeremy Wisnewski: “Human Rights and Linguistic Subterfuge in the Bush League” Now Availabe

jeremy3

The free podcast of Dr. Jeremy Wisnewski’s lecture is now available from the OSU iTunes store (just go down to Lectures and Courses, click on the Ideas Matter icon, and you can download a free copy of the lecture.)

In this presentation, Wisnewski analyzes former President Bush’s weekly radio addresses, Justice Department Memos, U.S. federal statues, and international law covering the treatment of prisoners and the rules of war, to establish that the Bush administration intentionally engaged in an attempt to circumvent human rights and solidify the supremacy of the executive branch of the government over all others.

He maintains that the Bush league deliberately violated the Geneva Conventions and, as such, committed war crimes. In addition, the Justice Department under Bush, drafted policy memos that justified the use of interrogation techniques that were tantamount to torture as defined by the United Nations.

At the end of the talk, Wisnewski called for members of the Bush administration to be tried on war crimes, either by the United States itself, or by other nations, if they are ever to travel abroad (in the way that Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was arrested in England for human rights abuses he had conducted in Chile).

Listen in to this provocative lecture and leave your thoughts!
jeremy5

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Upcoming lecture: Jeremy Wisnewski on Torture and War Crimes in the Bush Administration

Dr. Jeremy Wisnewski is the guest for Ideas Matter this week.  Here is the abstract for his talk:

If there is one lesson to learn from the Bush Presidency, it is that no law—whether domestic statute or international treaty—can resist systematic misinterpretation. The aim of this talk is to look closely and carefully at the arguments surrounding several key Bush administration decisions—examining these as a case study, in essence, of the way that legal reasoning can be manipulated toward virtually any end. In exploring the arguments of the Bush league surrounding things like torture, the constitution, and our international treaty obligations, I want to suggest two theses: First, that human rights law has been significantly damaged by the Bush League, and second, that the kind of legal gerrymandering and linguistic subterfuge employed by the Bush administration constitutes the commission of war crimes. 

Hope to see you there!

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David Reidy and Michael Blake: “Humanitarian Intervention and Human Rights” Now Available

The free podcast of the discussion between Professors David Reidy and Michael Blake on the issue of humanitarian intervention and human rights is now available from the OSU iTunes site.

David Reidy and Michael Blake

David Reidy and Michael Blake

The conversation between these two philosophers centers not so much on whether coercive intervention is permissible today or should in fact be a duty (both agree that coercive intervention using military force was probably required of the world community in a case such as the 1994 genocide in Rwanda). Instead, the question they pursue, in broad terms, is whether coercive intervention ought to be used by liberal democratic societies as a means to promote human rights in societies that are not necessarily liberal democracies. For instance, while it may not be a good idea to invade a society such as Saudi Arabia in order to get it to extend civil and political rights to women, does that mean that liberal democracies should not find other ways to coerce Saudi Arabia to respect human rights?

Check out the conversation, add your thoughts in the comments section, and check out the photos from the evening with philosophers on the right!

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