Chapter

The International Argument

Arvind Sharma

in Are Human Rights Western?

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780195679489
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081714 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195679489.003.0034
The International Argument

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This chapter examines the argument that human rights are Western in terms of International Relations (IR) theory. IR theory provides three basic models for analysing international relations: realism, pluralism, and globalism. The operation of human rights discourse could be considered Western in the sense that in the terms of the realist model, political and civil rights are emphasized at the expense of social, cultural, and economic rights; in terms of the pluralist model, the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) which promote these rights is accorded importance; and in terms of the global model, attempt is made to maximize the scope for the operation of Western capitalism.

Keywords: human rights; International Relations theory; realism; pluralism; globalism; political rights; civil rights; nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); capitalism

Chapter.  965 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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