Universiteit Leiden

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Lecture | Studium Generale

How did disability become a global concern?

Wednesday 12 December 2018
Anna van Buerenplein
Anna van Buerenplein 301
2595 DG The Hague

Approximately 10%-15% of the world’s population is estimated to be disabled and this number is expected to rise in the next decades. How did disability become a global concern and how can the concept be understood in a multicultural world? The lecture will show how that contrary to what many people may believe, disability does not equal inaction and passivity. In fact, the incorporation of disability into human rights in the recent decades has been the result of the agency and emancipation movement of disabled people - be it their protest on the streets or their skillful lobbying. The lecture will thus show that disability does not (necessarily) equal suffering, it can be a positive identity, a source of a social and cultural identity. The experience of people with disabilities in the Southern Hemisphere will also get attention, and the lecture will reveal the relevance of disability in international relations, in particular that it may become an issue of ideological rivalry between great powers.

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