Human rights and globalisation : are human rights a “Western” concept or a universalistic principle?
Please cite as follows:
Huber, W. 2014. Human rights and globalisation : are human rights a “Western” concept or a universalistic principle? Nederduitse Gereformeerde Teologiese Tydskrif, 55(1): 117-137, doi:10.5952/55-1-2-518.
The original publication is available at http://ojs.reformedjournals.co.za
This paper represents an edited version of the authors’ STIAS lecture at the Stellenbosch University in 2014. It deals with the global human rights discourse, as the integrity of human persons all around the world is at stake, showing the necessity and the universality of human rights. Therefore the author explores two basic kinds of attitudes towards human rights, namely 1) forms of human rights optimism – e.g. the argument that globalisation as such leads to a universal acknowledgement of them – and 2) variants of human rights scepticism, in which the author sees those rights practically disregarded, the “Western” concept challenged, and a human rights exceptionalism spreading. Subsequently he asks for what kind of universality of human rights we may argue and how cosmopolitan ethics may support this universality.