Transnationalizing recognition: a new grammar for an old problem

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This chapter analyzes migration through the angle of what I propose to call a critical hermeneutical theory of transnational recognition. Forced migrants are often denizens in a space of political indetermination, leaving their countries for humanitarian reasons but sometimes not even recognized as valid subjects of rights, given the fact of their political exclusion. As Nancy Fraser (Scales of justice. Reimagining political space in a globalizing world. Columbia University Press, New York, 2010) has argued, these transnational problems mark the limits of a justice envisaged in Westphalian terms and push us to think justice in a post-Wesphalian framework. Within this backdrop, this chapter develops an alternative framework to help shed some light on migration problems and to understand the claims put forward by migrants. Drawing from critical theories of transnational justice such as Fraser’s (Scales of justice. Reimagining political space in a globalizing world. Columbia University Press, New York, 2010) and Forst’s (Metaphilosophy 32(1/2): 160–179, 2001), I apply this transnationalizing move to recognition theory and spell out the new grammar of recognition that comes to light when one thinks of social actors claiming for due recognition across borders. One of the key aspects is that this theory needs to be hermeneutical because unlike cosmopolitan theories that mainly insist in the need to welcome asylum seekers on the basis of respect for their human rights, I claim that one needs to go deeper and resort to thicker descriptions of the identities, communal ties, and cultural background of these people in order to understand their motives and what they can actually bring to enrich host societies. In order to flesh this out, some intersubjective settings are especially well suited such as narrative research with migrants themselves. The chapter thus spells out the tasks for this theory, from the hermeneutical understanding of recognition claims and their normative assessment to the political and institutional implications for host societies of seriously tackling migration from a recognition-theoretical perspective.
Idioma originalEnglish
Título da publicação do anfitriãoStudies in global justice
Número de páginas20
ISBN (eletrónico)9783030727321
ISBN (impresso)9783030727345, 9783030727314
Estado da publicaçãoPublicado - 8 jul 2021

Série de publicação

NomeStudies in Global Justice
ISSN (impresso)1871-0409
ISSN (eletrónico)1871-1456

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