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Wed, 07 Feb


ICES Kandy Auditorium

Decolonising the Discourse on Minority Rights

A Lecture by Prof. Mohammad Shahabuddin Professor, Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, UK

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Decolonising the Discourse on Minority Rights
Decolonising the Discourse on Minority Rights

Time & Location

07 Feb 2024, 16:30 – 19:30

ICES Kandy Auditorium, 554/6A Peradeniya Rd, Mulgmpola, Kandy

About the Event


Mainstream discourse on minority rights embodies a series of normative biases and assumptions, which ignore the colonial underpinning of some of the core concepts such as the definition of 'minority' and the notion of minority protection. In this talk, Prof. Shahabuddin will critically argue that contemporary minority rights discourse needs to engage closely with relations of power and subaltern agency to ‘decolonise’ conventional thinking within the discipline. He will unpack this decolonising agenda and map out what such an agenda would entail. Thus, this talk will offer a framework for systematically thinking about decolonising the discourse on minority rights.

The discussion will be moderated by Dr Kalana Senaratne, Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Law, University of Peradeniya

Prof. Mohammad Shahabuddin teaches and researches in international law and human rights, with a special focus on the history and theory of international law, ethnicity, nationalism, and self-determination. He is the author of  Ethnicity and International Law: Histories, Politics and Practices (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and Minorities and the Making of Postcolonial States in International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

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