World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies

Barcelona, July 19th - 24th 2010


Toward an Integrated View of Human Rights and Human Development: Theoretical Foundations, Measurement Issues and Policy Implications in Jordan (204) - NOT_DEFINED activity_field_Panel

· NOT_DEFINED date: WED 21, 11.30 am-1.30 pm

· NOT_DEFINED institution: Università degli Studi di Pavia (UNIPV) and Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori Pavia (IUSS)

· NOT_DEFINED organizer: Dr. Enrica Chiappero-Martinetti

· NOT_DEFINED language: English

· NOT_DEFINED description: The Panel presents the main results reached within a three-year international project named “Toward an integrated view of human rights and human development: theoretical foundations, measurement issues and policy implications” that has involved the Universities of Jordan, Padua and Pavia (Italy) and the HDCP-IRC.
The multidisciplinary research project aims at exploring the scope for the theoretical integration and policy-oriented implication of a joint human development and human rights based perspective. On the basis of this collaboration a Master Programme on Human Rights and Human Development started in January 2008 in Amman, aiming at training students in the Middle Eastern countries on this subject.
Within the panel, five papers will be presented by project partners on the main topics investigated in our research, including: moral and intercultural justification of rights, safeguard and development of women rights, human security, politics of dialogue and international relations, human rights regional systems and their interaction, empirical evidence and indicators of human development and human rights, recommendation of coherent strategies and public actions for promoting human development and human rights in complementary ways.

Chair: Dr. Zaid Eyadat (University of Jordan)

Paper presenter: Nadia von Jacobi (Università degli Studi di Pavia), “Human development and human rights in Jordan: an empirical analysis”
The paper presents findings of a field work that has collected the opinions of students of the University of Jordan and of development experts committed to different aspects of human development and human rights within the most important operational realities in the country such as the Jordanian government, the UN-system, bilateral cooperation and local NGOs.
The research aims in particular to contribute to the ongoing national debate among experts regarding the weights that should be attributed to different dimensions of wellbeing. First results propose a methodological framework for multidimensional analysis of poverty and a rationale for the selection of the most relevant dimensions that should be included to measure human development and human rights performance in Jordan.

Paper presenter:Paolo de Stefani (Università degli Studi di Padova), “Human rights regional systems and their interaction. Normative and cultural dialogue at the Mediterranean crossroad”
Regional systems are increasingly crucial in influencing human rights implementation at national/subnational level and in promoting the development of global standards and regulations in this field. The Mediterranean area is at the crossroad of at least three main regional systems, each of them endowed with a specific approach to human rights as well as ad hoc treaties and/or machinery. The Council of Europe/EU, the African Union and the Arab League systems have developed rather sophisticated and comprehensive structures and policies in this field, although still not fully operative in the last two cases. Interaction among these regional organisations is still relatively poor, including in the field of human rights policies and institutions, despite of their recognised central role.
To enhance a cross-continental dialogue it seems methodologically and strategically appropriate to shift from a civil/political rights centred approach, to a development based approach, whereby economic, social, cultural, and collective human rights play a driving role. Legal underpinnings and positive examples of cross-cutting policies are analysed: AU and EU instruments and policies for “human (sustainable) development” will be addressed, as well as the “jurisprudence” of the European committee on economic, social and cultural rights. National and regional initiatives of the Middle East will also be addressed.
Results show that a more dynamic interaction between Europe, Africa, and the Middle East should help facing common social problems as well as address a long-lasting political and cultural divide.

Paper presenter: Enrica Chiappero-Martinetti (Università degli Studi di Pavia), “Multidimensional poverty and inequality in Jordan: a combined human development and human-rights based approach”
The increasing interest in multidimensional poverty and inequality analysis added complexity to the way these phenomena are conceptualized and measured. A typical source of arbitrariness derives from the choice of the weights to be attached to poverty or inequality dimensions. By testing the empirical results obtained in a field work in Jordan, we test different hypotheses of weighting/hierarchy of dimensions to analyse multidimensional poverty and inequality in Jordan. Our theoretical framework combines the human development and the human-rights based approach. Our findings suggest political actions for improvement in poverty and inequality performance for the case of Jordan.

Paper presenter: Filippo Dionigi (Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori (IUSS) and London School of Economics), “Poverty and Human Rights in the Political Theory Debate: an Assessment with Reference to the Middle Eastern Case”
A major topic in the contemporary political theory debate regards the theme of human rights applied to the problem of poverty. The main focus of this paper is that of reviewing this debate on the basis of two main categories: minimalist and egalitarian theories of global justice. With reference to these two categories the paper will discuss their capacity in providing a normative basis justifying poverty reduction policies. Special attention is drawn on the actual possibility of applying theoretical normative frameworks to a specific case. The study uses the case of the contemporary Middle East as a “testing benchmark” for an assessment of the impact of normative theories on policy making. Results show that minimalist theories of global justice rely on a conception of statehood that cannot be applied to the Middle Eastern case. Differently, egalitarian conceptions of global justice call for global redistribution which may eventually justify the commitment of international political actors to poverty alleviation policies.

Paper presenter: Zina Nimeh (University of Maastricht), “Integrating Human Rights and Human Development: The case of Jordan”
The paper looks at past and current political efforts and feasibilities to improve the Human Development and Human Rights performance in Jordan. Starting with a brief background on the emerging discussions on the relationships between human rights and development, it provides a brief history of human development and human rights in Jordan: from their introduction into the political agenda to the past and current feasibility of their implementation. Bottlenecks related to the political and power settings of the country and participating key players are presented. The research then analyses current policies promoting human development and human rights and discusses the major issues that are being put up for the future political agenda. Finally, the paper tries to conclude by a discussion on the reality of the integration of Human Development and Human Rights in the current political scenario of Jordan.