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Universalism with humility: Grounding human rights in a diverse world.

Chen, Chun-hung (2008) Universalism with humility: Grounding human rights in a diverse world. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This is a study of how one can successfully justify the universality of human rights to people with a diversity of beliefs and values. I argue that intercultural dialogue is an essential part of working out an interpretation of human rights that is acceptable to a broad range of cultures. I develop this position through critical engagement with three recent philosophical approaches to the intercultural validity of human rights: John Rawls's Law of Peoples, Martha Nussbaum's Human Capabilities approach, and Abdullahi An-Na'im's cross-cultural dialogue approach. Inspired by Judith Shklar's political liberalism of fear and Ins Young's critical theory, I seek an account of human rights that has normative legitimacy from the perspectives of marginalized and victimized people. Cross-cultural dialogue in my scheme is a bottom-up approach from the victimized and powerless people that can avoid the problem of generality and provide multiple routes to reach agreement regarding universal human rights. In the end, I believe my approach will be descriptively more suitable to the moral reality of universal human rights, and provide a normative grounding of human rights in a way that is more compelling than other approaches.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General, Sociology, Social Structure and Development
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Government
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2983

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