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Searching for a middle ground: anthropologists and the debate on the universalism and the cultural relativism of human rights.
Department of Social Anthropology, Lund University.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7228-8184
2017 (English)In: International Journal of Human Rights, ISSN 1364-2987, E-ISSN 1744-053X, Vol. 21, no 5, p. 611-628Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the anthropological debate on human rights a new theoretical approach, a search for a middle ground, has been attempted to solve the dilemma of universalism versus cultural relativism. In the human rights discussion in general, and in the anthropological debate in particular, the dichotomy of universalism/relativism is seen as one major obstacle to the implementation. This article takes a critical outlook at this discussion in anthropology, arguing that there is no such middle ground between universalism and cultural relativism, neither in relation to the definition of the rights, nor the implementation. Instead, this article attempts, through an example from Borneo, to point the way to a human rights theory, called relative universalism of human rights. This is a theoretical approach integrating universalism and cultural relativism instead of trying to find some moral space in-between.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 21, no 5, p. 611-628
Keywords [en]
CULTURAL relativism, HUMAN rights, ANTHROPOLOGISTS, UNIVERSALISM (Philosophy), ANTHROPOLOGY, Borneo, relative universalism, universalism
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ths:diva-538DOI: 10.1080/13642987.2017.1290930OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ths-538DiVA, id: diva2:1365559
Available from: 2019-10-25 Created: 2019-10-25 Last updated: 2019-10-25Bibliographically approved

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Johansson Dahre, Ulf

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