All Human Rights are Local

Authored by: Jan Servaes

The Routledge Companion to Media and Human Rights

Print publication date:  June  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138665545
eBook ISBN: 9781315619835
Adobe ISBN:


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Our world has apparently, once again, entered a deep and fundamental crisis in ecological, ­economic, social, cultural and spiritual ways. Nobel Prize Winner Amartya Sen observes that ‘there is a compelling need in the contemporary world to ask questions not only about the economics and politics of globalization, but also about the values, ethics and sense of belonging that shape our conception of the global world’ (Sen 2006, 185). Over the course of history it becomes apparent that we are positioned between the material and the non-material, and between our individuality and the ‘others’. ‘Throughout the ages and from all sides man (s/he) is called upon to retain the equilibrium within that force field. Time and again, the message is that developments can only continue if a certain middle way is found between fundamental opposites within that social value pattern’ (Van Egmond 2013, 133). While worldviews and social values were in the past mainly looked upon as bipolar and limited to national contexts, now they have become increasingly global and multidimensional. Unfortunately, we are again experiencing a loss of equilibrium, resulting in more extreme and fundamentalist value patterns.

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