Global Society and Human Rights


Global Society and Human Rights tries to grasp and reconstruct the processes of global unification and the shaping of a common feeling of humanity: the conviction, in different cultural contexts, of the unity of mankind and the existence of inalienable human rights. Contrary to the past, the quest for the unity of mankind does not imply the denial of differences; on the contrary, it brings to light the common traits of the social and political organizations from which the potential recognition and the assertion of individual differences arise. The basic claim set forth in this book is that global society could be the context for the actual assertion of human rights.
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Biographical Note

Vittorio Cotesta is professor of Sociology at Università degli Studi Roma Tre. He has published extensively texts on sociology both in theoretical and empirical fields. His research focuses on Global Society, Human Rights, Europe and Cultural Diversity.

Table of contents

1. Introduction 1. Preface 2. The structure of the universe and the shape of the earth, or imago mundi 3. The conflict of world-images and the identity of Europe 2. Knowledge Transmission and Universality of Man in Global Society 1. Introduction 2. The universality of man: the evolving process in the Greek and Roman world 3. The universal mission of Islam and the selective reception of Greek knowledge 4. Modernity and global society 5. Global society as the field for the realization of man’s universality 3. The Other and the Paradoxes of Universalism 1. Cultural patterns and the status of the Other 2. Main models of ‘I-Other’ relationships 3. We, humanity; them, the barbarians 4. Universalism and brotherhood 5. The status of the Other in contemporary society 6. The internal paradox of the I-Other relationship 4. Religion, Human Rights and Political Conflicts 1. The destruction of the Twin Towers – a clash of civilizations? 2. Many modernizations in the era of globalization 3. The transformation of war 4. Religion and just war 5. The meaning of 11 September 2001 5. Europe: Common Values and a Common Identity 1. Preface 2. The religious foundations of the value of the individual 3. The rational foundation of the value of the individual 4. Religion and secularization 5. The tensions and the aberrations of secularization 6. Human rights and European identity 6. The Public Sphere and Political Space 1. The Bourgeois Public Sphere 2. The complex history of the dichotomy public/private 3. The many shapes of the public sphere 4. Human rights and the public sphere 5. Cultural pluralism and the public sphere 6. Religion and politics 7. America and Europe: Carl Schmitt and Alexis de Tocqueville 1. Two nostalgic points of views 2. Jus publicum europaeum as nomos of the global world 3. America envisages the destiny of Europe 8. Identity and Human Rights: A Glance at Europe from Afar 1. Introduction 2. Removing the dust sheets. The African Renaissance 3. Provincializing Europe 4. World government and the neo-Confucian perspective 5. Europe: between fascination and rejection 9. Human Rights, Universalism and Cosmopolitanism Bibliography Index


All those interested in Europe, global society and human rights.