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Intercultural
Lexicon

City

The city is an artefact.

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Fundamentalism

Fundamentalism means the literal and dogmatic interpretation of holy texts (but these may also be secular texts), the prescriptive indications of which are considered the foundations of all action.

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Freedom

The philosophical justification of the idea of freedom is one of those enigmas all great philosophers have addressed, often concluding their imposing attempts by acknowledging the impossibility to access a firm Archimedean point placing freedom on a incontrovertible theoretical pedestal..

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The Mediterranean

Mediterranean: literally the sea in the middle of lands, a bordering sea, and linking these lands. This characteristic makes the Mediterranean a sea that does belong to all the countries overlooking it, but to none in particular, a shared sea, not available for becoming private property..

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The Armenians

The Armenians descend from Indo-European populations who, between the 7th and 6th century B.

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Reset
A month of ideas.
Giancarlo Bosetti Editor-in-chief
Association for dialogue and intercultural understanding

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The Specter of Statelessness

Patrick Weil

Stateless people neither have rights nor a home. "Home is more important than rights", claimed Emma Goldman and than Hanna Arendt nearly a century ago. Why is this becoming an issue today? Patrick Weil, researcher at CNRS at Sorbonne University points out that the increase of refugees and the idea of revoking citizenship to terrorists and foreign fighters make this issue again important. 


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Which Terrorist Would Be Afraid of Loosing Citizenship When Ready to Lose One's Life?

Patrick Weil

After the Terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015 President F. Hollande proposed a constitutional amendment: revocation of French citizenship to native born French terrorists. Patrick Weil, from Sorbonne and adviser to the French government for immigration considers this a NON SENSE, such a law would punish the wrong people, create division amongst citizens without any efficiency against terrorism. A negative reaction from a large part of the French parliament followed against Holland's proposals. A second version followed, proposing revocation of citizenship for people with dual citizenship. Weil tells us why he defended the actual French Constitution. The amendment never passed as the Parliament opposed it and the Senate claimed that the existing laws were sufficient.


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Is European Unity just an Ideology?

Manuel Castells

For the last 1000 years the main joined activity of Europeans had been killing each other. Then came the European Union.  The recent economic crisis and refugee crisis showed a lack of unity and solidarity once again.  All people, not only the elite need to come together, says Spanish sociologist Manuel Castells and actively share practice and solidarity and not just an idea of a united Europe. Otherwise Europe will remain just an ideology.


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The Illusion: Dictatorship as Guarantor
for a Functioning State

Amr Hamzawy

In Egypt liberal and left elites had missed out to organize and compete with right wing groups during and after the revolution. Amr Hamzawy, former Egyptian parliamentarian and human right activist explains that human rights abuse and economic and social crisis are threatening today’s Egypt and corroding the trust of the citizens. The illusion that an autocratic regime would guarantee stability is constantly disintegrating.


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Theology, Representation and Integration of Western Muslim Communities

Nadia Marzouki

How should the western countries deal with the threat of internal religious radicalization and Islamic fundamentalism? The search for an interlocutor who should represent religious communities and the emphasis on theological questions are as wrong, says Nadia Marzouki, as the linking of radicalisation with religious practices. Religious practices, even if fervent, do not automatically create dangerous and disloyal citizens.


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Searching for Comparative Political Theory Across Borders

Diego von Vacano

How to develop democracy in Latin America or Africa, not just applying Western ideas but adapting local culture? Asks von Vacano: “if we understand theories across cultures we might be able to develop more permanent conceptions and constitutions that are democratic. Example: all inclusion of minorities - where already the ancient Athenian democracy model failed – Bolivia today has incorporated the indigenous groups, applying its cultural roots into democratic theory and constitution.”


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Stato Islamico, una minaccia per la libertà (e per l’Islam)

Adnane Mokrani

Quale è l’identità dello “Stato Islamico”? Può esistere una religiosità senza libertà? Ci risponde, Mokrani con una sua analisi politico storica della realtà dell’Islam, che ci mostra la strada verso una vera laicità.  


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Liberal Tradition(s) Today Overlap More than they Contrast

Stephen Macedo

Our classical liberal tradition in the United States is stronger than in Europe, says Macedo. The interesting ideas of contemporary republicans, deliberative democrats and the ideas of progressive liberals are highly convergent and mutually complementary and not in opposition to one another. This other tradition, we tend to call libertarian, is much more free market oriented, but progressive liberalism and European moderate, left ideas to overlap.


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The Difficulty of Claiming Rights

Nadia Marzouki

Muslim in Europe and US are increasingly visible in the public sphere and ask for their rights. This has become source of controversies and fear for people in the west. But the language of emotions and fear tends to deny Muslim the possibility of talking about politics, or using the vocabulary of liberal rights to claim their needs, criticises Nadia Marzouki from EHESS in Paris. This hinders integration.


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No Healthy Democracies without Democratic Passion

Ramin Jahanbegloo

Cultures need to learn from each other and so does democratic theory. We need new tools, democratic tools to tame violence, says Ramin Jahanbegloo from York University, Toronto and it is Gandhi who can inspire us once again. And we need democratic passion, civic education and cross cultural, non-violent ideas.


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Does Cultural Difference Create Violence?

Engseng Ho

Does cultural and religious difference mean an inherent tendency to violence in diasporic societies? No, says Engseng Ho from Duke University, on the contrary in port cities where people from all cultures interact in diasporic societies a lack of systematic violence is the norm. Problems are others.


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Neo-populism and the Italian Case

Mauro Calise

Western political systems are moving from party politics to “the” personal party, with emphasis on strong leadership. The Italian case with Silvio Berlusconi’s personal party, Beppe Grillo and now Matteo Renzi’s “best of” populist interpretation, is an interesting case for this new kind of neo-populism within Democracies, says Mauro Calise and it differs from  former populist models, defined by their strong communal roots.


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