Only $2.99/month

Universal Justice Exam Part 2

Terms in this set (60)

Liberal-Individualist Natural Rights School The central idea is that rights are a given, derived from reason or God, thus are the basis of making certain demands. This school understands rights as universal, inherent in each individual.
Deliberative School (Jurgen Habermas) From this perspective rights are agreed on, a vehicle for expressing entitlements and obligations. Through deliberation we develop agreed upon principles for running the polity, i.e. we develop consensus and rights are realized through political organization. This suggests rights are not absolute, rather expressed through law; therefore, they are not a possession (something you have by virtue of being human), but guide action/behavior. Rights are realized through political action. •
Collectivist (group emphasis)
Protest School Scholars in this tradition see rights as something fought for, action to redress injustice. They are less concerned with their philosophical basis, but have a sense of rights as transcendental (similar to the Natural Rights folks), rather than a product of negotiation. Rights in this case are claims or aspirations. The focus is not on every human being (though they assume application to every human being b/c suffering is universal), rather the focus is on those who suffer. They argue once one has secured rights for their group, they have a responsibility to secure rights for others. They see rights as based in struggle and are suspicious of human rights law, because of the tendency to use rights for our own benefit, rather than the benefit of others.
Discourse School For discourse scholars rights are "talked about," i.e. they are language for expressing claims, but there is not a deep belief in their authenticity. Rather, they see human rights as a tool for having certain types of conversations; therefore, rights are based in language. Unlike the deliberative school, rather than seeing rights as something that can be universal (if consensus broadens), they see universality as a pretense and criticize the deliberative school for not properly understanding/ appreciating power relations. (They point out that power is not equal in conversations-> not all have equal input into the construction of understandings regarding rights.) Like the protest school they think rights should be about redressing suffering, thus are sympathetic to the protest schools focus on social justice, but do not share their optimism. They have a more nihilistic orientation. They do not see rights as something to be realized (protest school) because they do not see them as existing in the first place.
International organizations and their respective treaties, covenants, and protocols are dominated by Western states and intentional or not, their ethnocentric ideas assuming the superiority of their own culture and values have shaped modern international debates and approaches to human rights in ways that routinely fail to respect the cultural diversity of the non-Western world. Human rights becomes a mechanism to impose universal values in the name of human rights.
-May undermine human rights in practice because it potentially weakens and undermines traditional social institutions operating in non-Western societies that may have protected the dignity of group members
-Modern colonialism? Language of human rights is more secular, but the universal language of Christianity was used in the past to justify colonialism.
Fails to recognize non-western worldviews that understand people as experiencing humanity as part of a collective Societies/ cultures have vastly different understandings of what it means to be human. Western traditions have traditionally understood human beings as autonomous, thus experiencing humanity as distinct and separate individuals; whereas, many non-Western societies are more likely to have a conception of human being as people who understand and experience their humanity as members of a group. Critics of relativist critiques note these distinctions do not necessarily represent a Western-non Western dichotomy. There strands of collectivist thinking , or at least collective respect, in the West (e.g. Marx and Burke), and notions compatible with universal rights (e.g. freedom, tolerance) in Buddhism, Hindi, Confucianism. They also would suggest we must be careful not to assume just because certain principles dominate a society, those principles are appropriate and moral, i.e. be careful not to mistake authority for morality. We must be careful not to play into the hands of political elites who might manipulate culture in self-serving ways that fail to represent interests and values of many members in their community.