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Baltic Journal of Law & Politics

A Journal of Vytautas Magnus University

2 Issues per year

CiteScore 2016: 0.13

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.102
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.276

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Human Rights and Cultural Identity

Gordon John-Stewart
Published Online: 2016-02-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bjlp-2015-0021


Universal human rights and particular cultural identities, which are relativistic by nature, seem to stand in conflict with each other. It is commonly suggested that the relativistic natures of cultural identities undermine universal human rights and that human rights might compromise particular cultural identities in a globalised world. This article examines this supposed clash and suggests that it is possible to frame a human rights approach in such a way that it becomes the starting point and constraining framework for all non-deficient cultural identities. In other words, it is possible to depict human rights in a culturally sensitive way so that universal human rights can meet the demands of a moderate version of meta-ethical relativism which acknowledges a small universal core of objectively true or false moral statements and avers that, beyond that small core, all other moral statements are neither objectively true nor false.

Keywords: Human rights; cultural identity; clash of civilizations; moral universalism; moral relativism


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About the article

Received: 2015-11-15

Accepted: 2015-12-28

Published Online: 2016-02-29

Published in Print: 2015-12-01

Citation Information: Baltic Journal of Law & Politics, Volume 8, Issue 2, Pages 112–135, ISSN (Online) 2029-0454, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bjlp-2015-0021.

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© 2015 John-Stewart Gordon, published by De Gruyter Open. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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