The "Headscarf Affaire(s)" in Italy: A Socio-Juridical Analysis of Institutional Practices and (non-)Policy

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 16:45
Oral Presentation
Eduardo BARBERIS, DESP - University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Urbino, PU, Italy
Even though not debated so much at the national and international level, Italy had quite a number of "affaires du voile" - the first one dating as back as 1994. The "affairs" that took place in Italy concerned the right of wearing hijab (a) on ID and driving licence photos and (b) on the workplace, and the right of wearing niqab and burqa (c) to access public facilities; (d) in public spaces.

This presentation will analyse the "hijab affairs" in Italy focussing on some cases and practices of exclusion and the following institutional management of the case. Evidences will be shown that the management of the cases is mostly local, sometimes informal, never "scaled up" to the national arenas (if not with procedural regulations). In most cases, a local practice of exclusion is managed either informally or by regional administrative courts. The evolution of jurisprudence shows an increasing acceptance of discrimination, but also a persisting "local treatment".

As a consequence, rights are never affirmed in a clear way, and are mostly conceded here-and-now. Conflicts are retained at local level, but never really solved, provinding the grounds for the risk of enduring and repeated discriminations.