Question 14

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Rajyashree Narayanareddy

14. According to David Harvey how can the Universal Declaration of human rights be mobilized to make universal claims upon globalization? @ZD,Z}]Z}ZD- Z:,Z22ZZZZ]}^]2ZZ_ should be broadened in scope, in ways that are sympathetic to the right to be different or the right to the production of space. Any strict and narrow interpretation of human rights must be contested. Respect for the cultures of differing groups is just as important as respect for individuals. An example is that of Z]Z[Z]L,] }Z}]L]]ZK}KL}^Z}o2Z]L22]LZL}o]o]ZK_: On the one hand they appeal repeatedly and powerfully to the concept of dignity and the universal right to be treated with respect. On the other hand they make claims based on locality, embeddedness and cultural history which emphasize their unique and particular standing as a socio-ecological group. Since 1948, the application of human rights haZLZ7L^ ]]oL}o]] o]2ZZ_L ^ }L}K] 7Z} ]oL oo]2ZZ_: Globalization makes it harder to maintain a separation between both groups of rights. The contradictions of globalization offer opportunities for an alternative progressive politics. First, there is widespread demand for reform of the system given its instabilities and economic inequalities. Second, environmental difficulties are apparent everywhere and require the involvement of multiple scales (from local level to global). Thirdly, the spread of Western ways of thinking about self-fulfillment and self-realisation has released a set of powerful forces of mounting economic, social and cultural frustration. It should be recognized how variations in different localities are part of some family of meanings, rather than being completely separate and different.
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