• Unit 6: Participation, 'Rights,' 'Needs' And Global Justice: Revisiting Civil/Political And Economic/Social/Cultural Rights Debate

    As individuals, groups, and communities become empowered and engage in political agency, perhaps it is inevitable that conflictive claims for justice will emerge. The discourse about rights and needs is central to resolving such conflicts. Thus, the rights-needs discourse logically emerges from the previous two units and is the focal point of this unit. Participatory rights can be understood as a vehicle for both empowerment and conflict resolution. However, how do participatory rights manifest themselves in a global setting (social and other media phenomena such as the 'Arab Spring' or Wikileaks)? More importantly, in a globalizing world, do institutions such as the International Criminal Court (ICC) bring new meaning to claims for justice in global affairs? The ICC and similar institutions (European and Interamerican Courts on Human Rights) raise questions about civil/political rights of individuals as justice for victims of human rights violations is pursued in a global setting. Similarly, the rights-needs debate underscores the significance of socio-economic class and contemporary slavery when we attempt to apply theories of global justice to the realities of our world. This unit ultimately centers on global justice as it applies, or does not apply, to civil/political and economic/social/cultural rights and needs. Simply stated, does the recognition of needs supersede claims for rights even if the cost is justice?

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 5 hours.