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Persons in charge: María José Añón Roig

Examination of the role of culture within the sphere of rights is an unavoidable issue. Sometimes debates on diversity are not presented as sufficiently linked to the rights which are normally connected to the ideas of universality and equality. However, the appropriate understanding of rights demands attention to and integration of difference, and in the same way, diversity leads us to consider the justification of specific rights taking into consideration the role of culture and religion. In principle, the existence of multicultural societies in which no different treatment for cultural reasons exists is a sign that rights are being fulfiled; as is the recognition of different religious practices, which implies, furthermore, fulfilment of freedom of conscience. However, this does not mean that a practice, just because it appeals to a culture or a religion, must be acceptable in itself. Rights express a moral theory which, despite being open and pluralist, is based on a series of principles which cannot be overstepped. 
Summary of contents: The debate on multicultural citizenship; Multiculturality and conflicts of rights; Reflection on tolerance: pluralism and minorities; Reflection on universality; Rights of indigenous peoples; Diversity and social cohesion.