Summary of course

MA Course, NCHR, Advanced Course, HUMR4107
Summarizing points
Bård Anders Andreassen, Spring 2005
Discourse analysis
- Development as epistemology; a way of thinking, speaking and
acting in social, cultural, economic and political contexts
 An anthropological approach – the contexts of conceptual
development and application (development, civil society,
human rights)
Development as a normative notion
Conceptions of development, with a focus on human rights
- Changing “hegemonic” positions; from structural towards
agency-oriented approaches
 Trends in the development discourse
Since early 1990s RBAD increasingly more important in
international ethics; reflexive corrective of neo-liberal
The Right to Development
 Substance
 RtD as right to a process
 RtD as a vector: a composite rights focussing on a rightsbased process, rights-sensitive growth, intern. distributive justice
RBAD as a way of thinking about development that is peoplecentred: Popular participation, social movements, concerned with
power distribution (empowerment: civil and political rights),
governance and equity and fairness (economic and social rights)
 Understanding of the RBAD, and its relation to the
human development discourse
 Nowak, Hunt and Osmani on human rights-based
approach to poverty reduction
 Application of RBA on development issues
 A comprehensive development framework: Escape
single all-purpose remedies (“IMF/Washington
consensus blueprints”)
The Capability Approach: Development as expansion of freedom
and options of choice (equality of opportunity; equality in
“human rights “ outcome – minimum threshold/core rights
Human rights mainstreaming and a new focus on impact
assessment of development interventions: Bi/multi-lateral
- The importance of democracy (in Sen Development as Freedom,
ch. 6; NB not covered in lectures but important
Poverty as a violation of human rights
- Human poverty and social exclusion as deprivation of human
freedoms and dignity
Human poverty as the lack of capabilities to live a long, healthy
and creative life, to be knowledgeable, to enjoy a decent standard
of living, dignity, self-respect and the respect of others
 Sen’s approach (and Nussbaum): deprivation of
 Henry Shue’s approach on basic rights (security and
subsistence, deprivation of rights, HR as security and
protection against societal threats (e.g. poverty)
Expanding human capabilities (cf. self-provision) and securing
human rights (state obligations) can empower people to escape
Distinction between poverty and extreme poverty and human
rights – relevant? Definitions
International dimensions of development as freedom
- The quest for international distributive justice in a era of neoliberal globalisation
- The role of human rights in contemporary globalisation
- Theories and justifications of international distributive justice
Beitz: Global distribution principle
(other scholars in the same tradition: Stanley Hoffman,
Thomas Pogge)
A negative dictum: “One cannot consistently argue that there
are restrictions on individual actions, but no such restrictions on
actions of states” (15)
A positive dictum: “A strong case can be made on
contractarian grounds that persons of diverse citizenship have
distributive obligations to one another analogous to those of citizens of
the same state”. Contractarian based on a principle of justice, as
opposed to utilitarian “utility-maximizing” arguments