Collective Rights as a Potential Source for Peace, Harmony, and Well-Being in the Global Community

This Expert Comment explores how collective rights, peace, harmony, and global well-being require international political commitments to create the necessary conditions to humanise social structures and institutions and enable relational processes to flourish. Scherto Gill reconceptualises collective rights through five social constructionist lenses. Her analysis enables us to develop an innovative conceptual framework where collective rights could be regarded as a source for peace, harmony, and well-being, and could unite global communities in solidarity to pursue a better future for humankind and the planet. As examples, Gill narrates the experiences of five communities and organisations to illustrate that how we understand the nature of collective rights can have a pivotal impact on governments, institutions, and a culture of peace and harmony across the globe.

Executive Summary         

This article reconceptualises collective rights through five social constructionist lenses (see for example, Searle, 1995; Hacking, 1999; Gergen, 2009), including a shift from an individualistic to a relational conception of the person, the recognition of the contingent nature of people’s lives and realities, the view of rights as values-based, the interdependence between individual and collective rights and the reciprocity between rights and responsibility, and a dialogic approach to governance and accountability. The author argues that such an analysis would enable us to develop an innovative conceptual framework where collective rights could be regarded as a source for peace, harmony, and well-being and could unite global communities in solidarity to pursue a better future for humankind and the planet. As part of this analysis, this article also narrates experiences of communities and organisations as cases-in-point to illustrate that how we understand the nature of collective rights can have a pivotal impact on the way governments and institutions create the conditionality for respecting and protecting collective rights and engage in processes (social, political, economic, religious, environmental, educational, and individual) aimed at achieving a culture of peace and harmony across the globe.

 

 

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The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the original author(s) and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views and opinions of the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute, its co-founders, or its staff members.

 

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