Chapter 6: Human dignity as status politics
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This chapter offers a critical analysis of some of the contemporary usages of the human dignity principle (HDP) in which it is argued the HDP can be read as the vehicle of status politics (in the sense of Joseph Gusfield). It first offers a revisitation of the contribution of important strands of literature on the HDP (Walzer, Whitman) and proposes a particular understanding of the "dignitarian" role the HDP plays in contemporary law, by focusing on the normative dimension of the elevation of humanity it entails. It then looks at three specific examples taken in French and European law (in the field of nationality law, migration law and secularism) in order to underline the ways in which the HDP reinforces the cohesion of identitarian "us"-es that can be pitted against "others".

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