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Vol 2012 no 2 (Posted November 2012)


Education || Religion || Terrorism || Women's Leadership ||Human Rights||

Human Rights

Human Rights Types: Separatist To Engaged Religious Variations
Leo Driedger, Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology, University of Manitoba

Evelyn Kallen, in her Ethnicity and Human Rights (2003) presents a typology of human rights, which includes individual, collective, political, religious, and aboriginal rights, which will be examined, to provide a macro-sense of many of the elements and principles which need to be studied and considered.
These issues have been dealt with in the three major Declarations of Human rights, first by the Americans, followed by the United Nations, and Canadians. These declarations will be briefly examined as well, to enhance our insights into these individual, collective, political, economic, religious and aboriginal charters or rights and freedoms, to see how nations of the world have set their goals for their interchange of relations.
We also plan to compare four different cultural groups in Canada (Aboriginals, French, British, Others) to illustrate how the Kallen typology applies differently to the four groups, creating a mosaic of varied factors, situations and rights, which apply to these multicultural and multi-religious situations.


Human Rights Debate: An Examination of Amartya Sen’s Countervailing Power: Public Reasoning as a Social Instrument  
Santosh C. Saha, University of Mount Union; Ohio

This study presents an analysis of the empowering countervailing power thesis (e.g. power deriving from union representation) in terms of its theoretical and practical applicability to human rights, which admit that there are some rights that are not derived from the positive law of the states. The theory insists on the reliability of the prior organization of social agents and on the rationality of collective contestation to challenge the classical theories of the popular social movements. The countervailing rational agency power concept employs strategic and instrumental “practical reasoning” to replace the previous industrial relations scholarship as the central point for the analysis of collective non-confrontational action to advance the cause of human rights in all cultures. My study defends Amartya Sen, a Nobel Laureate in liberal economic philosophy, who argues that although subjective theories of instrumental reasoning have their attractions in social scientific explanation, almost all attempts to develop the idea of rational action seek to justify some constraints on what constitutes reasonable beliefs that underlie an instrumental choice in keeping the promise of human rights. To what extent Sen is able to locate power in the third space, which is not a remote neutral center for action but an active agency power, to advance the cause of human rights that have different value-systems with social justice at the core.      
Sen’s countervailing power thesis resembles that of John Kenneth Galbraith’s countervailing power, which was presented during the tense condition in the 1950s, as active “resistance” against the prevailing economic power that had little concern for human rights of the general population. His conditions to balance the weaker and stronger powers in a democratic setting, with positive and political freedoms, psychological dispositions, were organized as countervailing power for human rights of the laboring section of society. In contrast, Sen’s concept, coupled with an empirical theory and along with statements, reconstructed by his critics, can well be applied in explanation of certain philosophical and political phenomena within the countervailing power theory, which is likely to enhance human rights for the wider public. To what extent, Sen’s measurement of different categories and elements, reflected in his countervailing power theory, appears to be legitimate.    
Notwithstanding important differences between earlier countervailing power and the current interpretation, it is useful to observe how each human rights tradition is initially animated by a different problem. 

Position of the Individual and Absolute Monism:  Case Study on the Children in Hatcliffe Extension
Connie S. Singh, Associate Faculty Justice Studies, Royal Roads University

The position of the individual has transformed and gained meaning in this decade. This significance is assessed in relation to international human rights norms existing under international and domestic law, by using the United Nations Report on the Position of the Individual in Society and a case study on Hatcliffe Extension. The study elaborates on the development and convergence of  transnational norms to prevent state aggression. Essentially, the position of the individual in society has gained recognition as a specific subject matter that requires attention separate from attachment to a group or to the state.



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