Abstracts for L'Espill 25 (2007)
Joan F. Mira
Immigration, diversity, and identity
The recent great wave of immigration poses the problem of integration with a special urgency. One response is so-called strong multiculturalism, “here but separate”. Another is a weak multiculturalism that denies the suppression of differences, but also denies the formation of enclaves or ghettos. The experience of European peoples that have been victims of pressure by strong states to assimilate, and have, however, survived and preserved their identity can be useful in order to find a fair way towards satisfactory integration.
The construction of a republican citizenship
Failures in our democracies are not just structural ones, but also have ethical or moral origins. Citizenship is a question of individual rights, but also of civic duties. We need free persons, but also cooperative ones. This kind of freedom exercise is not automatically learned. It must be the object of a systematic teaching. Only a clear definition of public interest and of the horizon of justice that makes sense of a well-ordered society, in the sense of Rawls, can help to avoid the depletion of democracy.
Towards the end of the representation idea?
One can doubt that communication techniques shall substitute men’s will to act as citizens. Nowadays, the electors seem worried only about personal problems and not about the general problem of national and international politics. Important as that may be, consultation and participation cannot substitute politics’ proper space. It is impossible to erase the political dimension of collective life, and this space is defined by the representation of the citizens, as the expression of the political link in democratic societies.
Josep L. Barona
The young Allende’s context: Science, medicine, and society
The young Salvador Allende, president of Chile in the 1970s and victim of a murderous coup by the military forces, was, long before that, as an advanced student of medicine, the author of an academic work on the relations between mental health and crime. Here the author exposes the intellectual context of this work, which was born from Allende’s field research in the 1930s as a young doctor in Santiago and also from a wide range of debates and scientific references of this time in the field of mental health, social conditions, eugenics, and psychiatry. Allende’s thought was an expression of the social medicine of his time.
Published 24 July 2007
Original in English
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