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Human Rights in Cross-Cultural Perspectives: A Quest for Consensus / Edition 1

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Overview

Human rights violations are perpetrated in all parts of the world, and the universal reaction to such atrocities is overwhelmingly one of horror and sadness. Yet, as Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im and his contributors attest, our viewpoint is clouded and biased by the expectations native to our own culture. How do other cultures view human rights issues? Can an analysis of these issues through multiple viewpoints, both cross-cultural and indigenous, help us reinterpret and reconstruct prevailing theories of human rights?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The contributors have done an outstanding job of illuminating complex problems, offering thoroughly researched, probing analyses and expositions that are both well written and extensively documented. The book contains excellent case studies that examine the coexistence and clashes of different cultures as they impinge on human rights issues, as well as thoughtful critiques of philosophical position. . . . This is a work that can be recommended highly, both to those pursuing the study of cross-cultural validity of rights and to persons with more general interests."—Human Rights Quarterly

"Eloquent explorations of the charge that human rights advocacy is but thinly disguised cultural imperialism."—American Political Science Review

"A valuable addition to an important blossoming of literature on this topic."—American Journal of International Law

"All the contributions are interesting and, from their own different perspectives, throw light on the different aspects of the vexed question of human rights."—Political Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812215687
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/1995
  • Series: Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 488
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im is Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory University and the editor of Human Rights Under African Constitutions, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
—Abdullahi A. An-Na'im

SECTION I.GENERAL ISSUES OF A CROSS-CULTURAL APPROACH TO HUMAN RIGHTS
1. Toward a Cross-Cultural Approach to Defining International Standards of Human Rights: The Meaning of Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
—Abdullahi A. An-Na'im
2. Cultural Foundations for the International Protection of Human Rights
—Richard Falk
3. Making a Goddess of Democracy from Loose Sand: Thoughts on Human Rights in the People's Republic of China
—William P. Alford
4. Dignity, Community, and Human Rights
—Rhoda E. Howard

SECTION II.PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS OF ALTERNATIVE CULTURAL INTERPRETATION
5. Postliberal Strands in Western Human Rights Theory: Personalist-Communitarian Perspectives
—Virginia A. Leary
6. Should Communities Have Rights? Reflections on Liberal Individualism
—Michael McDonald
7. A Marxian Approach to Human Rights
—Richard Nordahl

SECTION III.REGIONAL AND INDIGENOUS CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES ON HUMAN RIGHTS
8. North American Indian Perspectives on Human Rights
—James W. Zion
9. Aboriginal Communities, Aboriginal Rights, and the Human Rights System in Canada
—Allan McChesney
10. Political Culture and Gross Human Rights Violations in Latin America
—Hugo Fruhling
11. Custom Is Not a Thing, It Is a Path: Reflections on the Brazilian Indian Case
—Manuela Carneiro da Cunha
12. Cultural Legitimacy in the Formulation and Implementation of Human Rights Law and Policy in Australia
—Patricia Hyndman
13. Considering Gender: Are Human Rights for Women, Too? An Australian Case
—Diane Bell
14. Right to Self-Determination: A Basic Human Right Concerning Cultural Survival. The Case of the Sami and the Scandinavian State
—Tom G. Svensson

SECTION IV.PROSPECTS FOR A CROSS-CULTURAL APPROACH TO HUMAN RIGHTS
15. Prospects for Research on the Cultural Legitimacy of Human Rights: The Cases of Liberalism and Marxism
—Tore Lindholm

Conclusion
—Abdullahi A. An-Na'im

Bibliography
Contributors
Index

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