Law7876 - Philosophy of Collective Rights and Self-Determination

LAW7876 - Philosophy of Collective Rights and Self-Determination

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The notion of a right that belongs to a group and that may trump individual entitlements has generated heated debates in modern philosophy. The right to self-determination of national communities provides an extreme case in point. The course will explore various philosophical views on collective rights and on self-determination. It will analyze the position of advocates of these entitlements, such as Charles Taylor, Will Kymlicka, Joseph Raz, and Iris Young, along with that of critics, such as Allen Buchanan, David Miller, Susan Moller Okin, and Jeremy Waldron. Throughout the semester, students will imagine a conversation between the former and the latter groups, and bring it to bear on concrete contemporary controversies. For example, we will consider secession efforts in Canada and Europe, the decolonization process in Africa and Asia, and the quest for self-governance by indigenous peoples throughout the Americas, while pondering the impact on the rights of women, minorities, and dissidents.