Executive Committee 2014-2018

ISA Statement about US President Donald Trump’s recent Executive Orders

In February, 2017, International Sociological Association President Margaret Abraham noted in her yearly presidential letter to our 5200 members that:

…2016 was indeed a year of cataclysmic change that has left us more uncertain than ever about the shape of things to come in this polarized post truth world.  Today existing systems are in turmoil, institutions are being dismantled without any clear idea of what needs to be put in their place, and democracy itself is in crisis. The resentment at the growing inequalities of globalization has turned into a backlash against immigrants, multiculturalism, secularism, struggles for gender and intersectional justice…

A case at point is US President Donald Trump’s recent Executive Order proposing a 90-day suspension of visas and other immigration benefits to all nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Somalia. This ban is discriminatory, stigmatizing communities and people, and exacerbating forms of social exclusion of specific groups. Further, the ban adversely impacts knowledge production, prevents the free flow of academic exchanges and limits participation of sociologists in national and international conferences. Civil society members, individual academics, professional associations and communities nationally and internationally are responding by voicing their concern, opposing the ban, bringing legal challenges and supporting those affected… 

There is a critical need for us individually, as sociologists, and collectively, as an association, to listen and understand the voice and actions of multiple publics across the world; not to dismiss but to discuss, to actively engage in dialogue and debate; to examine and address the issues of inequality and injustices that are at the root of the ethnocentrism, xenophobia, and extreme right-wing thinking on the rise… 

I continue to believe in reason and I’m confident that sociologists can play a key role in the formidable task of reviving hope and crafting a better future in an inclusive and just world.

The International Sociological Association (ISA) was founded in 1949 under the auspices of UNESCO, and its function is to represent sociologists everywhere, regardless of their school of thought, scientific approaches or ideological opinion. The ISA, through its Human Rights Committee, reiterates our president’s message and strongly denounces the threats and actions against international human rights undertaken by the government of the United States.  To date, these actions undermine and directly challenge many of the basic rights proclaimed in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  These include the rights to freedom of religion, health (including a healthy environment), freedom of expression, full equality, sharing in scientific advancement, choosing one’s own life partner, deciding on family planning, self-determination, protection of vulnerable groups such as refugees and a life free of degrading treatment. 

The ISA urges the immediate reversal of attitudes, opinions and policies aimed at fostering hatred, separation and intolerance and calls on the United States to adopt policies that foster peace, justice and inclusion.

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