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Collective Equality: Democracy and Human Rights in Ethnonational Conflicts

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On Monday, February 5th, Dr. Limor Yehuda from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem discussed how the concept of "collective equality" can be a tool for improving peacemaking efforts in ethno-national conflicts—focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Organized by the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. Co-sponsored by the UCLA International Institute as part of its "Democracy–Freedom–Truth: Critical Conversations from Diverse Global Perspectives" initiative, the UCLA Department of Sociology, and the UCLA Center for European and Russian Studies.

About the Book

The ongoing Gaza conflict underscores the human costs of the enduring Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Despite international goals and laws for conflict resolution, accepted liberal theories and human rights frameworks fall short in addressing contemporary group conflicts. Dr. Yehuda's book Collective Equality examines the limitations of common solutions like territorial partition, liberal democracy, multiculturalism, and minority rights and demonstrates how these limitations brought about the use of democratic power-sharing arrangements as a central tool for peacemaking in group/ethno-national conflicts. However, employing ethnic criteria in these arrangements has drawn criticism from liberals and human rights bodies. To address this tension between peace arrangements and human rights, Collective Equality proposes a novel theoretical and legal framework. The concept of collective equality asserts that fostering fair cooperation and equal relations among ethno-national groups, including both national minorities and national majorities, represents the only alternative to political exclusion, hierarchical relations, and the violent struggle for superiority that characterizes ethno-national conflicts.

Dr. Yehuda's book Collective Equality: Democracy and Human Rights in Ethnonational Conflicts can be purchased here.


About the Speakers

Dr. Limor Yehuda is a legal scholar who studies ethno-national conflicts and transitions to peace. She is a senior research fellow and director of the “partnership-based peace” project at Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, a lecturer at the faculty of law at the Hebrew University, and a research fellow at the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law Under Extreme Conditions at Haifa University. She is the author of the recently published Collective Equality: Democracy and Human Rights in Ethno-National Conflicts (Cambridge University Press). In addition to her academic work, Limor is a founder of The Israeli-Palestinian movement A Land for All. Previously Limor clerked for President Aharon Barak at Israel’s Supreme Court and was a practicing human rights lawyer and director of the human rights in the occupied territories department at the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).

Dr. Tamar Hofnung (moderator) a political sociologist specializing in the politics shaping gender and racial equality policies in Israel and the United States. She received her PhD in Political Science with a specialization in Human Rights from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and conducted her postdoctoral studies as a Rothschild Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Department of Sociology. Her research at the UCLA Nazarian Center is focused on affirmative action and violence against women policies in Israel and the United States. Hofnung’s most recent research project examines the impact of unsystematic data gathering—and the lack of evaluation guidelines—on policymaking related to diversity and discrimination in Israel.



DISCLAIMER: The views or opinions of our guest speakers and the content of their presentations do not necessarily reflect the views of the UCLA Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. Hosting speakers does not constitute an endorsement of the speaker's views or opinions.