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Politics and International Relations Research Seminar

Against Global Ethics: The Refugee Crisis and the Refusal of the Other by Dr Jon Mansell

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Seminars

The 2010s were a tumultuous decade of economic, political and social crises, however, at the heart of the upheaval has been a moral crisis, what Pope Francis has referred to as a Globalisation of Indifference.

  • From: Wednesday 11 March 2020, 1 pm
  • To: Wednesday 11 March 2020, 2 pm
  • Location: CH2702, Chaucer Building, Nottingham Trent University, Goldsmith Street, NG1 5LS
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The 2010s were a tumultuous decade of economic, political and social crises, however, at the heart of the upheaval has been a moral crisis, what Pope Francis has referred to as a Globalisation of Indifference. This moral crisis can be seen especially clearly in the Mediterranean Sea, where the collective failure to provide sanctuary to those seeking refuge from conflict and persecution has led to fundamental questions about the structure of the international system. For theorists of global ethics, the phenomenon of the refugee thus strikes to the core of International Relations as an intellectual project.

For the Realist tradition the ethical responsibility to preserve the security of citizens has given rise to a logic of exclusion of refugees, while for the Liberal tradition the ethical responsibility to prevent systemic disruption has given rise to a logic of containment of refugees. A more radical approach is suggested by critical theorists, such as Giorgio Agamben, who argue that the refugee represents a challenge to the very logic of sovereignty.

In this paper, however, Dr Mansell will argue that the refugee crisis should be understood in much more concrete historical terms, as a crisis of the coloniality of the international system, based around an ontological refusal of the subjectivity of the Other. On this basis, Dr Mansell argues that a global ethics is inconceivable without a prior decolonial critique, concerned with both identifying and overcoming the alienation of the Other and establishing a being-for-the-Other within postcolonial Europe.

Dr Jon Mansell is a Lecturer in Politics and International Relations in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Nottingham Trent University.

Location details

Address:

Chaucer Building
Nottingham Trent University
Goldsmith Street
NG1 5LS

Past event

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