EUME Berliner Seminar
Mo 21 Okt 2019 | 17:00–18:30

Multiculturalism as Covering: On the Status of Palestinian Religious Minorities in Israel

Michael Musa Karayanni (Hebrew University / Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin 2019/20), Chair: Himmat Zu'bi (EUME Fellow 2018-20)

Forum Transregionale Studien, Wallotstr. 14, 14193 Berlin

“Covering” is a descriptive theory concerning the existence of the gap between how a social-legal order is presented and how that social-legal order operates, in practice. In spite of the fact that the reality of the social-legal order can be repressive, it can nonetheless survive and persist if a cover in the form of a positive agenda is thrown over it. Thus far, covering has been associated with the agenda of assimilation—in the name of which the accommodation of a different identity is denied. In his talk, Michael Karayanni will argue that covering is also discernible when multiculturalism and its explicit agenda for the accommodation of minority groups, namely, assimilation’s antithesis, is the overall guiding norm. When the reality is that of a nation-state where one’s group identity can determine the kind of norms by which members are governed, presenting this reality as multicultural covers for repressive group norms over individual group members and helps avoid the construction of a shared identity that can threaten the structure of the nation-state. I will seek to demonstrate this type of covering by focusing on the accommodation of Palestinian-Arab religious minorities in Israel.

Michael Karayanni is the Bruce W. Wayne Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was the Dean and before that the Director of the Minerva Center for Human Rights, the Sacher Institute for Legislative Research and Comparative Law and the Center of the Study of Multiculturalism and Diversity all at the same institution. He held visiting positions at Georgetown Law Center, Melbourne Law School, Stanford Law School, Yale Law School and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Currently, he is a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. His research interests are in private international law and inter-religious law, multiculturalism and civil procedure. Among his most recent publications is Conflicts in Conflict, A Conflict of Laws Case Study of Israel and the Palestinian Territories (Oxford University Press, 2014). Karayanni received his LL.D from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and S.J.D from the University of Pennsylvania.

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