CRITICAL HERMENEUTICS – BIANNUAL INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY, Vol. 2, n.1, June 2018
On the Challenge of Migration: Critical Hermeneutical Perspectives
Guest Editors: Alison Scott-Baumann and Gonçalo Marcelo
The chronic Mediterranean refugee crisis brings to the fore how difficult it is to manage large migratory flows and makes evident the uneasiness with which Europe deals with the prospect of having to host its others. Africa, Europe and the Middle East are troubled by each other in ways that require urgent analysis and resolution. This apparent lack of solidarity even with asylum seekers and forced migrants poses ethical, as well as political challenges. On the one hand, it seems evident that the old Westphalian nation-state paradigm is faced with its own limitations for dealing with problems of global justice. On the other hand, international law is also in itself insufficient, in the absence of coercive power. And one can also argue that the response of the European Union has been lacking in scope and effectiveness to deal with the humanitarian crisis. As such, can the upholding of Human Rights still be considered an integral part of Europe’s collective identity? At the same time, and amid the resurgence of nationalism and the populist threat, are European societies prepared to host “strangers” and really cherish their diversity, or is a conservative backlash prone to lead to an ever more hostile attitude?
This constellation of problems finds a suitable grid of analysis within the critical hermeneutical paradigm. Following the footsteps of authors such as Paul Ricoeur, Charles Taylor or Michael Walzer, to name just a few, the goal is not to devise an ideal theory that draws on abstract principles of justice; it is rather to apply the hermeneutical paradigm to the social and human sciences, taking up our historically constituted societies with their own specificities in order to try and analyse justice problems and solutions in a situated manner, while at the same time being critical and not taking the current social and political situation as being immune to change. The history of ideas of the lands, peoples and languages around the Mediterranean can energise us with rich polysemy that is also characterised by synergies (Plotinus, Neoplatonism, Al Kindi, al-Farabi, Ibn Tufayl, Solomon Ibn Gabirol, Maimonides, Adonis and many others). What can we learn, for example, from Sufism and its troubles experienced at the hands of various fundamentalisms?
In this issue, we are thus interested in contributions that can stem from a multiplicity of fields (ethics, political philosophy / political theory, social philosophy, sociology, theology) and help us think about migration and the problems it poses. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):
- The capacity of our societies to embrace multiculturalism (Taylor, Kymlicka) and recognition practices (Honneth, Ricoeur, Taylor)
- The ethical challenge of hosting the stranger (Derrida, Ricoeur, Kearney)
- Migration as a challenge for social philosophy
- Migration and global justice
- Anti-immigration sentiments: the problem of nationalism and populism
- How to frame migration: the problem of collective narrative identities (Ricoeur)
- Polysemy of Mediterranean cultures (Plotinus, Adonis, Ibn Tufayl , Maimonides)
Deadline: April 30, 2018
 ‘Being A Stranger’ by Paul Ricoeur, inédit transl by Alison Scott-Baumann, in Theory Culture and Society, Vol. 27, No. 5, September 2010.