Biblioteca della Libertà

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Valerio Zanone,liberale

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«Biblioteca della libertà» ricorda Valerio Zanone (1936-2016)

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A European issue of toleration: Why purpose-built mosques are so contested

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A European issue of toleration: Why purpose-built mosques are so contested

The first section of this paper tries to demonstrate that the mosque conflict is a veritable issue of toleration within contemporary pluralism. This argument requires a preliminary reassessment of the theory of toleration concerning: (a) the reassessment of the private/public divide as a useful boundary for toleration; (b) the intersection of the horizontal and the vertical notions of toleration, namely the social attitude and the political dimension; (c) the politicization of cultural issues by the democratic process, which tends to transform the cultural dialectic between majority and minority into a political one. In the case of mosques, the author argues that the problematic difference engendering the conflict is not the Muslim religion per se, nor its practices of worship which are allegedly incompatible, offensive and unacceptable by democratic society. It is rather that the Muslim religion provides a unifying label to group together many immigrant communities whose growing number and presence are perceived as threatening the orderly stability of the social standards of the cultural majority. This argument is pursued through the analysis of some comparable European cases concerning mosque building. Showing that resistance to mosques, as well as to other Muslim practices and customs, is not produced by a clash of civilization will help to fight the thesis of “Islamic exceptionalism”, meaning the specific difficulty tied to the reception of Islam and its manifestations in European countries.

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La controversa politica dell’ospitalità. Mobilità intraeuropea e diritti sociali

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La controversa politica dell’ospitalità. Mobilità intraeuropea e diritti sociali

The intra-EU mobility of workers/persons  is becoming an increasingly contentious and polarizing issue and is occupying the center stage in the so-called  Brexit debate. Challenging the principle of free movement is no trivial matter. What is actually put in question are not only the foundational pillars of  the single market, but of the EU as such, understood as a single (would-be) polity. The aim of this paper is to offer an analytical framing of this challenge. Section 1 provides a brief historical reconstruction of welfare state building at the national level, highlighting the salience of boundaries and of the “bounding-bonding” nexus. It also discusses the impact of European integration on the intra-EU boundary configuration in the sphere of solidarity. Section 2 illustrates the state of play as regards mobility, summarizing the findings of empirical research on the economic and financial implications of free movement and of the social security coordination regime. Section 3 argues that – in addition to economic efficiency – the  principle/logic that underpins free movement is that of “hospitality”, rather than the more general principle of solidarity. The section then discusses some unintended practical implications that follow from the logic of hospitality and that lie at the basis of  the increasing contentiousness around free movement.  Section 4 discusses possible institutional remedies for containing political contention. The underlying assumption is that the preservation of free movement is key for the survival of the EU qua political association/community and that such preservation must be the object of an essentially political (and not merely functional) strategy on the side of EU authorities. The conclusion wraps up.

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L’estensione del diritto di matrimonio alle coppie omosessuali: un argomento normativo

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L’estensione del diritto di matrimonio alle coppie omosessuali: un argomento normativo

This paper analyzes a very harsh case that is widely debated nowadays, namely the legal attempt to extend the right to marry to same-sex couples. This case is theoretically interesting, as it shows that even when there is a stable and shared agreement on a specific human right, as it happens for the right to marry, still many public conflicts may arise with regard to the implementation of such right. The case of same-sex marriage involves a public conflict over the meaning of a specific concept, as “marriage”, that has been determined long time ago and that is now undergoing a process of re-conceptualization. A set of members of the society is against this process; some others believe that modifying this social standard, in order to make it more inclusive, is the only way for respecting the liberal ideal of equal respect for persons. I analyze the same-sex marriage case from two perspectives. (1) I expose different legal arguments that, following the “fundamental right” strategy, show that law should enforce rights, such as the right to same-sex marriage, whose enjoyment grants equal treatment before the law for every citizen. (2) I stress that it is also important to dwell on political arguments in favor of the extension to the right to marry to same-sex couples. These arguments acknowledge the fundamental role played by the symbolic aspects in the political deliberation over the same-sex marriage debate. In fact, same-sex couples’ request challenges the traditional view about family and their claim happens to be seen as running afoul of the morality of the majority. In order to fully understand the normative relevance of the legal battle in favor of same-sex marriage, I argue, it is important to investigate the symbolic aspects of public space, as this battle for an extension of a specific right implies, more extensively, fighting for full citizenship, that is, equal visibility and equal membership within the public space.

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  • Recuperare la rotta é il titolo del XVIII Rapporto «Giorgio Rota» su Torino, presentato il 7 ottobre alla Biblioteca Nazionale.

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Biblioteca F. Guerrini

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 Dotata di oltre 9.000 volumi, offre una documentazione unica in Italia sul pensiero liberale contemporaneo.