Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 23

The Concept of Human Rights

Author(s): Alison Dundes Renteln

Source: Anthropos, Bd. 83, H. 4./6. (1988), pp. 343-364
Published by: Anthropos Institut
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40463371
Accessed: 25-11-2015 06:50 UTC

Linked references are available on JSTOR for this article:

You may need to log in to JSTOR to access the linked references.

Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/page/

JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content
in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship.
For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

Anthropos Institut is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Anthropos.


This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
Anthropos83.1988: 343-364

The Conceptof HumanRights


Abstract.- This article examines some traditionalWestern ofhumanrights.

classicdefinitions I thendiscuss
viewsof rightsand offersa critiqueof them.In particularit is some of the traditional Westernsourcesfrom
shownthatthecase againstthe doctrineof logicalcorrelativity
is flawed. It is argued that rightsand duties are always
whichhumanrights arethought to be derivedand
correlative,and thatthereforeduty-basedmoral systemscan findthemlacking. Theunderlying reasonsfortheir
accommodatehumanrights.By expandingthestandardviewof inadequacy are traced back to a deeplyrooted
theauthortriesto providea moresolid foundationfora
rights, beliefin the presumeduniversality of Western
broader range of human rights.In addition, the presumed moralnotions.Thesesameassumptions manifest
universalityof humanrightsis called intoquestion.The factof
culturaldiversityrevealstheinadequacyof traditionalWestern themselves in some of the international human
sources for human rights. [Human Rights, Western and rightsdocuments. It is clearfromeventhemost
Non-WesternConception,CulturalDiversity] cursorystudyof otherculturesthattheirvalue
systems differfromthoseoftheWestinsignificant
Alison Dundes Renteln, studies in History and Literature as can be seen in the cases of female
(Radcliffe College, Harvard Univ., B. A. 1981), Jurispru- circumcision and childlabor.
dence (London School of Economics), and Jurisprudence
and Social Policy(Univ. of California,Berkeley,Ph. D.). Her
law, international
law,and legaltheory.1986-1987actingdirectorofthe Law and 1. The Nature of Rights
Societyprogramat the Univ. of California,Santa Barbara;
since1987Asst. Prof,in thePoliticalScienceDept. oftheUniv.
of S. California. There are almostas manytheoriesof rightsas
therearerights theorists. It is sometimes saidthat
theonlytruerightsare legalrights(Benthamin
Thereis considerable disagreement amongtheo- Bowring[ed.] 1843/11:501; 111:221;Hart 1973:
ristsaboutboththenatureandlegitimacy ofrights. 171-201).Other scholars arguefora broaderview
Some of the theoretical of
issues raisedby rights rights which would encompassmoralrights as
theoristsare importantforelucidating thenotion well. For the of the
purposes explaining general
of a humanright.I willfocuson theconceptual characterof rights,it will not be necessaryto
analysisofrights onlyinsofaras it is relevantfor distinguish betweenthem.
understanding human rights.1 I willshow thatthe As is typicalinthehistory ofphilosophy, what
case againstthe doctrineof logicalcorrelativity,2was once a simple notion is often tranformed into a
whichassociatesrightsof one personwiththe muchmorecomplicated structure. Whilethisis
dutiesofanotherand viceversa,is flawed.If,as sometimes useful(and indeednecessary) forcer-
will be argued,rightsand duties are always tainconcepts,it can obfuscatetheessentialfea-
correlative,thendutybasedmoralsystems could turesof an idea. Rightstheoriesexemplify this
accommodate humanrights, theassertions ofsome tendencyof rejectingmore simpleaccountsin
commentators notwithstanding (e.g., Donnelly favorofmorecomplexnormative structures (Mar-
1982).NextI willargueagainstsometraditional tinand Nickel 1980: 165). Some of theso-called
categorizationsof rights.I offerseveralobserva- simplecharacterizations of rights,however,do
tions motivatedby the desire to expand the capture the essence of a right.
standard viewof rights.By anticipating possible
objections thatrightstheorists mightraiseto the
of universal humanrights,I 1 For a more detailed exposition of rightstheories see
assertion particular Dworkin 1977, Feinberg 1973, Flathman1976, and Well-
hopetomakepossiblea moresolidfoundation for man 1978.
a broaderrangeofhumanrights. 2 As opposed to the doctrineof moral correlativity;see
InthesecondpartofthearticleI present some below.

This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
344 Alison Dundes Renteln

For manyphilosophicalwriters,a rightis 2. Rightsand Duties

treatedsynonymously witha claim(Feinberg1973:
64-66). The "Oxford EnglishDictionary" defines Theviewthatrights anddutiesarecorrelative used
a rightas a "justifiable claim,on legal or moral to be the dominantone among philosophers
grounds, tohaveorobtainsomething, ortoactina (Lyons 1970:45; Martinand Nickel1980:165).
certainway." leadingproponent thisviewis Theprincipal
A of ideaisthattosaythatA hasa right to
JoelFeinberg: "To havea right istohavea claimto X, istosaythatB hasa dutytoinsurethatA can,in
something andagainstsomeone,therecognition of fact,obtainX. Butfurther, tosaythatC hasa duty
whichis calledforbylegalrulesor,inthecase of toD withrespect toE, istosaythatD hasa right to
moralrights, bytheprinciples of an enlightened E vis-a-visC. Many rightstheorists, including
conscience"(1980: 159-160). Feinberg, Lyons,MartinandNickel,andMcClos-
Whatdistinguishes a rightfroma demandis key, take varyingstancesagainstthisposition.
thatitis justified,eitherbyappealto pre-existingMost of the arguments are based on the four
legalrulesor morality. Thus a rightis a valid Hohfeldian categories.
claim.McCloskey(1976)prefers to definea right Lyons,forinstance, contendsthatone setof
as an entitlement ratherthana claim.The view rights, ''activerights" (rightsto do things), do not
that rightscan be explainedas legitimateor fitthe patternof correlativity (Lyons 1970: 48).
reasonableclaims is mistaken,accordingto The firstexamplehe offersinvolvestherightof
McCloskey, becauseitisbasedonthepremise that freespeech.4Alvinspeaksto a crowdfroma soap
rights"... are and must be
always rights against box,decrying UnitedStatesmilitary involvement
someotherpersonor persons"(1976:100). He inVietnam.Duringthecourseofpontificating, he
rejects the duty definition as well: "What is is assaulted by private citizens and removed from
commonto all rights is notsomedutyor dutyre- hisplatform. For Lyons,thequestionis whether
lationship but an entitlement" (1976: 104).Where- Alvin's right to freespeech(orthespecific right to
as thepreviouscharacterizations attemptto iso- addressthe crowd) is "... equivalentto the
late a singleconceptunderlying the notionof a assertionof correlative obligations incumbent on
right,a competingschool of thoughtseeks to others"(1970:50).
encompassall rights withina complexnormative Lyonswantsto saythatAlvin'srightto free
apparatus.WesleyHohfeld's classic work, "Fun- speechdoes not correspond to any duty:"The
damentalLegal Conceptions"(1964), laid the constitutional right of free speechis independent
foundation for much for
subsequentphilosophical of, example, obligation the notto assaultthat
exegesis. He asserted that rights could be under- was breached by those who silenced Alvin"
stoodas belonging tooneoffourcategories: claim, (1970:51). According to Lyons,thelisteners may
liberty,power,andimmunity.3 Hohfeld'sanalysis be undera dutynotto attackAlvin,butnotunder
hadbeenused,amongotherthings, to refutethe a dutytorespecthisfreespeech.Buthe goesonto
logicalcorrelativity doctrine. His framework has concludethatAlvin'sright doesnotcorrespond to
been adopted and extendedby a numberof anydutyon thepartof Congresseither:"These
philosophers (e.g., Wellman1985and Flathman Constitutional rights exemplify whatsomejurists
1976). call 'immunities' for to assertthem is to saythat
In contrastto thesenormative theoriesare protected areasof speechcannotbe takenaway.
functionalist accounts ofrights, themostfamousof Alvin'sconstitutional righthas a conceptualcor-
whichis thatof RonaldDworkin(1977; see also relative: butitis notanobligation; itisa legislative
Scheingold 1974).According to thisview,whatis 'disability,' theassertion of whichsaysthatCon-
distinctive about rightsis thattheyfunction as gressis not empoweredto enact certainlaws"
trumps overcollectivegoals. This would seem to (1970:51).
requirethatrightsbe individuated in orderto The secondexampleoffered byLyonsis the
distinguish them from what one might call "collec- right of a California motorist to turn right on a red
tiverights"(see Dinstein1976,Garet1983,Van light.Lyonstriestoshowthatthereisnoclearduty
Dyke1980). associatedwiththisright.But in facthe under-
mineshisargument: "... itseemsmoreplausible
to say thatthisrightimposesobligations on law
enforcement officials not to interfere withone's
3 For cross-cultural research, Hohfeld's intricate typology
may have limited applicability. S. F. Moore advises legal
anthropologists to read Hohfeld and then "... cheerfully 4 This particularexample was introducedat least as earlyas
do without him" [!] (Moore 1969: 343). 1956 by GlanvilleWilliams.


This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
TheConceptofHumanRights 345

makinga rightturn(whenallowedbythecondi- Philosophers havealso challenged thelogical

tionsoftheright)"(1970:55). He refuses, though, correlativity doctrine byasserting theexistence of
toconcedethepoint:"A policeman mayadmitted- dutieswithout corresponding rights. Feinberg, for
lybe underan obligation notto stopor disturb a instance,saysthatdutiesof charity which". . .
privatecitizen without cause - but can we say that requireustocontribute tooneoranother ofa large
thatobligationis 'correlative' withmy rightto number ofeligiblerecipients, no one ofwhichcan
makea rightturnon a red lightin California?" claim our contribution fromus as his due"
(1970:55). (1970:244), shows the absence of a correlative
The cruxoftheargument the
against logical right. Hart (1979) and others contend thatwhile
correlativity doctrineseems to derivefromthe we havedutiesnottomistreat animalsandbabies,
Hohfeldian interpretation of an immunity right, nevertheless, theyhavenorights againstus (inpart
thecorrelative ofwhichis a disability. According becausetheyare notmoralagents- see Lamont
to Hohfeldian scholars,disabilities are associated 1950:93). Stillothershaveclaimedthatthedutyto
withtheabsenceofobligations. I wouldarguethat rescuehas no correlative right(Bedau 1968).It is
thisdistinction is merely semantic. It is notsimply evensometimes suggested thatthemanin André
thatCongressis notempowered to enactlegisla- Malraux'snovel,"La Condition Humaine"(1946),
tionwhichrestricts freedom ofspeech,but,also, felthehada dutytogivehissupplyofpoisontohis
thatCongressis underan obligation notto enact fellowprisoners, thoughtheyhad no rightto it
suchlegislation, forto do so wouldviolatethe (Acton1950:108).
right. onecouldarguethatthereis a Thereareatleasttwoobjections whichcanbe
duty which "stands to" the right of freedom of raised to arguments of the kind advanced bythe
speech ". . . just as Bernard's to
obligation pay above philosophers. The firstis that, in the cases
AlvincorrelateswithAlvin's right"in Lyons' wherewe wouldagreethatthereare suchduties,
paradigmatic example(1970:50). The dutyis that thereis also a corresponding right.If society
ofthejudiciary to protecttherightto freedom of recognizes dutiestobe kindtoanimalsandbabies,
speech.I maintainthatin everycase in which forinstance, then,indeed,thoseentities couldbe
Hohfeldian languageis used, a correlative duty said to haverights.7 The secondis that,in those
mayalwaysbe found.5 cases in whichwe are hesitantto assertthe
McCloskey proposes another type of counter- existence ofa right, itis becausetheattribution of
example to the rights implies duties thesis,namely the duty seems dubious. Unfortunately, many
thatoftheconscientious objector(1976:104). He personsdo not recognizedutiesof charity, for
assertsthattheright tobe a conscientious objector example,perhaps because such duties give rise to
corresponds to no duty on the part of others. His something resembling economic rights.The reluc-
argument revolvesarounda reformulation ofthe tanceoftheorists to acknowledge theexistence of
conflict betweenthe individualand the statein rights corresponding to duties held by others, may
terms ofrights languagerather thandutylanguage: stemfromthefearthatto do so wouldcheapen
'Thus to assertthathe has a righthereis distinct rights languagebya proliferation oflesssignificant
from claiming thatothershavea dutyto leavehim rights (Hart1979).Buttheproblemdoesnotliein
freefrominterference. One can, withverygood the correlation; it restsin the absenceof some
sense,assertthatthestatehasa right topunishhim mechanism forjustifying theassertion ofparticular
fordoingthatto whichhe has a moralright" rights/duties.
(1976:104). I taketheviewthatrights and dutiesare flip
Butifa right be to a conscientious objector is sides of the same coin.8 Brandt has said thatthe
actually recognized as a valid moral right, then it
standsto reasonthatthestatehas a dutynotto 7 Hart'sargument againstbabiesas right-holdersfollowsa
interfere. The argument is partofa largerattempt discussionof third-party rights.He observesthatsimply
byMcCloskey toeliminate claimlanguageinfavor becausesomeonestandstobenefit from thecarryingoutofa
but this is duty by anotherdoes notmeanthatthebeneficiary has a
of entitlement language, program claimagainstthatperson.But imaginethecase in which
unpersuasive.6 Hartstumbles acrossa starving
pre-existing agreement betweenHartand thebaby'spar-
ents). IfHartisundera moraldutytoassistthebaby,thenthe
5 See alsoBrandt1959:434; Braybrooke1972;Singer1972; babycouldbe saidto havea moralrightagainstHart.
HudsonandHusak1980;andWaldron(ed.) 1984:11. 8 Western theorists
sometimes assertthata rightis priortoa
6 McCloskey's has beencriticized
formulation as
elsewhere duty(Lamont1950:94). Others,however, havedefended
being". . . notparticularly or informative" the "... logicalpriority
illuminating of dutiesover rights"(Pappu
(MartinandNickel1980:170). 1982:24).


This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
346 Alison Dundes Renteln

difference betweena rightanda dutyis similarto 61-62). It is sometimes assertedthata right,in

thedifference between theactiveandpassivevoice ordertobe a right, mustbe unconditional. Butthis
(1959:434). While this observation is not a new is demonstrably false. Consider the case of the
theory rights, Waldron regards the simple prisoner, some of whose rights are suspended
associationof a dutyto a rightas capable of becausehe has notfulfilled his duties(Feinberg
forming thebasisfora "moresatisfactory" account 1973:62).9 Here we wouldagreethatitis appro-
thansomeofthemoreelaborateones: "Thusthe priateto makerightscontingent on duties.One
rightoffreespeech,forexample,is understood in couldgo so faras to arguethat,foradultsat least,
terms ofrecognition thatan individual's interestin all rights are contingent on duties.Eventheright
self-expression is a sufficient for to
ground holding life, example, for could be saidtobe contingent
otherindividuals agencies to be under duties on the to
duty respect other lives.On theother
ofvarioussortsrather thanintermsofthedetailof hand,ifbabiesandanimalshaverights, thenthey
thedutiesthemselves" (1984:11). have them irrespective of their to
capacity perform
The importance of demonstrating thelogical duties.So thedoctrine of moralcorrelativity ap-
correlativity of rightsand dutiesdoes not lie so pearstobe contingent. As a consequence, societies
muchinanyexplanatory powerithasforWestern in whichrightsdependon the performance of
rights theories, but rather in the flexibilityit duties can still
be said to have rights.
affords the formulation of international human
rightsstandards. Correlativity is crucialbecauseit
meansthattheframing of moralclaimsin terms b) PositiveversusNegative
otherthanrightsis not necessarily problematic.
The recognition ofan obligation maywellsignify Philosophers havetraditionally dividedrights into
thepresence of an implicit right. two categories: and
positive negative. If a citizen
The misleadingseparationof rightsfrom hasa right tofreedom ofspeech,forexample,then
dutieshas led philosophers to makedistinctionsthe state has a dutyof non-interference. This
betweenright-based, and
duty-based, goal-based so-called negativerightallegedly imposes bur-
theories(Dworkin1977:169-173).It is notewor- densomeor costlydutyupon the state. The
thythatKant'sfamousduty-based theory hasbeen standardview of the positiverightholds that
employed as a basis fortheories of rights (Waldron welfarerightsrequireextensivegovernmental
1984:13). Thissuggests thatjustbecausea moral action.Itisworth pointing outthattheviewsabove
theory is couchedinthelanguageofdutydoesnot arethoseofWestern philosophers whoaresympa-
implythatitcannotbe a vehiclefortheadvance- theticto civil and politicalrightsbut not to
mentof rights.Mackie (1978) goes so faras to economicrights. Therefore, thepositive/negative
arguethatanymoraltheoryis necessarily right- rights classificationsimply reflectsthevaluesofthe
based, even if rights can only be identifiedas political culture in which the philosophers live.
implicit. The allegation that positiverights demand
elaboratestateactionhas been criticized byphi-
losopherssuchas SidneyHook (1970) and Hen-
3. Observationson Rights ryShue(1980).In "BasicRights"Shuechallenges
thepremisethatonlypositiverights requirea vast
In thissectionI seek to enlargethescopeof the expenditure offunds.Opponents ofpositiverights
notionofa right.Traditional rights theorists have mightargue,forexample,thatproviding a food
constructed a framework whichis undulyrestric- stampprogram wouldinvolvea costlyandunwiel-
tive. An examination of some of the common dy bureaucratic network. The rightto foodthus
classifications revealsseveralartificial distinctions.appearsto be an expensiveright.
The removaloftheseconceptual obstaclesshould Butsomeofthe'negative' rights,forinstance,
facilitatetheformulation of a broaderand more theright toa trialbyjury,certainly necessitate the
accurateconceptofhumanrights. existence ofan elaborate(andexpensive) criminal
justiceapparatus.The maintenance of civiland
politicalrights depends on the existence ofpolice,
a) The Doctrineof Moral Correlativity

onemustbe capableof
Theideathattoholdrights 9 Some mightarguethattheprisoneris notdeprivedofrights
duties,is knownas the
and willingto perform butonlyprivileges.But amongthemostfundamental rights
doctrineof moralcorrelativity is (supposedly)the rightto liberty(Hart 1979).


This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
The Concept of Human Rights 347

courts,and a plethoraof other institutions. This recognizedcommunityrights,the rightsof peo-

reappraisalsuggeststhat the emphasisplaced on ples, and the rightsof groups,in additionto the
particularrightsis a matterof politicalpreference rightsof individuals(Ramcharan 1983: 278). The
ratherthansimpleeconomiccalculations. advantage of admittinggroup rightsis thatthere
maybe certainrightswhichpeople oughtto be able
to claim, which cannot be easily expressed in
c) LegalversusMoral individualistic
terms.One could make thecase, for
example, thatsome of the rightsarticulatedin the
A second distinctionthat is often drawn is that "AfricanCharteron Human and Peoples' Rights,"
betweenmoral and legal rights.Legal positivists specificallyArticles19-24, whichpertainto colo-
claim that a rightexistsonly if it is enforceable. nialism,requirethelanguageofgrouprightsrather
Legal rightswhich exist by virtue of legislative than individualrights(Anonymous1983).
enactment,common law, and so on, are, there-
fore, the only type of rightspossible.10 Other
theorists,suchas naturallaw/rights theorists,hold 4. Human Rightsand the Presumptionof
thatmoralrightsare priorto and independentof Universality
legal rights.
The distinction can be quite crucialwhen,for The emergence of rightsin political thoughtis
example, legal systemmakes no provisionfora
a generallyregardedas a new development.There
particularright.The argumentthat the system are thosewho maintainthatrightsdid not existin
shouldbe modifiedto incorporatetherightwillbe ancient civilizationsand those who argue that
fortifiedbythe demonstratedexistenceof a moral rightsare not to be foundin non-Westernmoral
right. Without moral rightsit would be consider- systems.Anyhistoricalstudyof rightsrevealshow
ably more to bringabout changesin law.
difficult hazythephilosophicalchartingof theevolutionof
The validityof legal rightscan be based partlyon rightshas been. Based on what littleevidence is
the extent to which they correspond to moral presented, it is astonishingthat anyone should
rights.11 offerdecisiveconclusionsabout the role of rights
in otherepochs and cultures.The absence of any
considerationof moral notions comparable to
d) Individual rightsmakes the presumeduniversality of human
rightsdubious at best. If we are to save human
In the Westernpoliticaltradition,onlyindividual rightsfrom the charge of cultural imperialism,
adultmoralagentshave been accorded the privi- whichI believe is possible, thenit is necessaryto
legeofholdingrights.But thereis nothinginherent reinforcetheirunderpinnings. In theremainderof
inthenotionof a rightwhichlogicallyrequiresthis some oftheweaknessesin the
thisarticleI identify
restriction.Nonetheless, some Westernersdeny foundationsof human rights,as put forwardby
theexistenceof grouprights,and theirreluctance (mostlyWestern)philosophers.
to grantsuchrightsmaystemfroma fearthatsuch
rightsare merelyexpressionsof utilitariangoals.
Since one of the mainpurposesof rightsis to limit a) Definitions
the arbitraryexercise of governmentalpower,
utilitariangoals masquerading as group rights The classic definitionof a human rightis a right
would perhapsseriouslyunderminethe power of which is universaland held by all persons: "A
rightsas trumps. human rightby definitionis a universal moral
Not all group rights,however, need be op- right,somethingwhichall men,everywhere,at all
posed to individuals'rights,e.g., the rightto self- timesoughtto have, somethingof whichno one
determination.The United Nations has, in fact, maybe deprivedwithouta graveaffront to justice,
something which is to
owing every human being
simplybecause he is human" (Cranston1973: 36).
a legal righteven ifit
10 Of course,itis stillpossibleto identify One of the definitionscited most oftenis thatof
is not enforced. Wasserstrom(1979). Any true human right,it is
11 Of course,otherfactorsare relevant,suchas whetheror not said, must satisfy at least four requirements:
the legal right was promulgated according to correct
"First,itmustbe possessedbyall humanbeings,as
procedure.Ultimately,however,the contentof the right
shouldresonatewithpriormoralrightsifitis to be regarded well as onlybyhumanbeings.Second, because itis
as legitimatewithinthe societyin question. the same rightthat all human beings possess, it


This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
348 AlisonDundesRenteln

mustbe possessedequallyby all humanbeings. surprisingly, philosophers havenotwelcomeddis-

Third,becausehumanrights are possessedbyall cussionsofcompeting moralities, largelybecause
humanbeings,we can ruleout as possiblecandi- theytaketheirownvaluestobe obviously correct.
datesanyofthoserights whichone mighthavein Strangelyenough,Waldronnotes that natural
virtueof occupying anyparticular statusor rela- rights ". . . seemedpeculiarly vulnerable toethical
tionship,such as thatof parent,president,or skepticism" butconcludesthat"... it wouldbe
promisee.And fourth,if thereare any human wrongto suggestthatthe discussionof human
rights,theyhave the additionalcharacteristic of rights hasbeenseriously impededbythesedifficul-
beingassertable, ina manner ofspeaking, 'against ties"(1984:3).
thewholeworld'"(1979:50). Thoughthe contemporary notionof human
As one can see fromthedefinitions, human rights may be theoffspring of natural rights,there
rights presumed to be universalin character. are, nonetheless, differences between them. The
Thiswouldnotinitself be problematic (indeed itis most important ofthese is the extent of the moral
desirable),exceptthatthephilosophical founda- universe towhichtheylayclaim.Whereasnatural
tionsare neveradequatelydemonstrated. The rights werenotwidelycontested becausetheywere
failure humanrights, as willbe discussed assertedin a universeof sharedvalues,human
below, has much to do with theirhistorical rightshave been highlycontroversial. Consider
antecedents, in particular naturallaw and natural Locke'sassertion ofthenaturalrightto property,
rights,withwhichhumanrightsare assumedby the validityof whichwas takenforgrantedin
manyphilosophers to be synonymous (Donnelly England,butwhichmightrequireargumentation
1985:10; Pappu1969:44; Wasserstrom 1979). in somesocialistcountries (to saytheleast).The
presumption ofuniversality no longerserves"uni-
versal"rights well.13
b) Traditional Sources In thepast,attempts to groundhumanrights
were not successful. The best knownand most
Formanycenturies naturallawplayeda dominant celebrated efforts
employed thevagueconcepts of
rolein Western politicaltheory.Natural law was human nature and rationality to establish particu-
considered to be the standardagainstwhichall larrights. It couldbe arguedthatitis nonsensical
otherlaws were to be judged. To contestthe toseparatethetwoinsofar as rationality is,insome
ofa man-made
injustice law,one couldappealto regions,regardedas integralto humannature.
thehigherauthority of God or naturallaw (So- Otherconceptualdeviceswhichhave provided
phocles1974).Eventually naturallawevolvedinto tentative basesforhumanrights include:theability
naturalrights,whichare consideredto be the to use language,reciprocity, thecapacityto con-
modern manifestations ofnaturallaw.Thechange formtomoralrequirements, self-motivated activi-
reflecteda shiftin emphasisfromsocietyto the ty,self-consciousness, andpurposive agency(Hu-
individual.Whereasnaturallaw provideda basis sak 1984:128).
forcurbingexcessivestatepower,naturalrights Increasingly, justification forhumanrights is
offereda meansbywhichan individual couldpress comingto depend less on humannatureand
claimsagainstthegovernment.12 rationality and more on the conceptsof basic
Naturallaw/rights theorists
haveassertedthe humanneedsandhumandignity. Thesestrategies,
existenceof specificrightssuch as the rightto however,are subjectto thesame weaknessesas
liberty(Hart 1979),therightto life(McCloskey theirpredecessors. How theorists derivespecific
1975),theright to self-preservation(Hobbes),the human rightsfromneeds or dignityremains
rightto property (Locke), the rightto freedom entirely obscure.Justas somephilosophers began
fromtorture(Nickel 1982), and the rightto to challengethe assumption thathumannature
participate(Stackhouse1984).Because theytake couldgiverisetospecific humanrights (Blackstone
the validityof the rightsto be a self-evident1968:624), others(e.g., Donnelly1985: 28-30)
proposition, therehas traditionally been little questionthe abilityof basic needs theorists to
roomfordebate.One mightexpectto encounter delineateintheabstract thoseneedswhichshould
whenvariousproponents defenddiffer-
entand sometimes conflictingrightsbased solely
on theclaimthattherightsare self-evident. Not 13 Anothermajor differencebetweennaturallaw and human
isrights that, according to internationalhuman rights
lawyers and the United Nations communityin general,
12 For detailedaccounts,see L. Strauss(1953), M. Roshwald humanrightsaccommodateothertypesof rightsin addition
(1959), R. Tuck (1981), and J. Donnelly (1985). to civil and political.


This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
The Concept of Human Rights 349

givecontentto the idea of humanrights.Pre- The deviceoftheoriginal positiondeveloped

sumably,adherents to thisapproachwouldnot byJohnRawls(1971)provides another illustration
advocatetheestablishment of rights basedon all of the universalistic premise.The idea is that
needs.Someonemustdecidewhatneedsaretruly individuals behindthe"veilof ignorance," strip-
basic, and inasmuch as different judges will per- ped of their identity, willselectprinciples ofjustice
ceivedifferent needs as takinghighestpriority,bywhichsocietyshouldoperate.One couldmake
thisapproachdoes notcircumvent thechallenge a strong casethatthecontractarian scenariowhich
ofdiversity. Rawlshas devisedis rigged.For example,Rawls
The problemwithall of these approaches requiresthatpersonsin the originalpositionbe
whichaimat anchoring humanrights by another risk-averse and not be envious.14By imposing
conceptis thattheycannotdemonstrate their constraints such as these, Rawls insuresthat
necessary connection to humanrights. The inter- individuals intheoriginal position willagreetothe
pretation ofbasicneeds,forexample,fallspreyto principles he advocates.Thus,thedeviceprovides
thesamehermeneutical weaknessof naturallaw/ an ex postfactojustification forhisownpersonal
rights.There is no way provethevalidity
to ofany moralconvictions.
particular interpretation becauseno procedureis It is plausiblethatindividuals fromthesame
established by which the of
legitimacy particular culture might agree to the same principles. Amer-
humanrights canbe judged.Indeed,thereis some icansconceivably woulddesignateRawls'princi-
consensusamongphilosophers thatup untilthe plesas theirown.Butifonetransposes thescenar-
all to
present, attempts provide solid philosophical io of the originalposition to an international set-
foundations forhumanrightshave failed(e.g., ting(Beitz 1979),itbecomesdoubtful whether all
Feinberg 1973: 90). the participants will acquiesce. The presupposition
In theabsenceofa satisfactory grounding for is thatindividuals strippedof theirculturaland
humanrights, theorists are compelledto fallback politicalheritagewouldbe pure rationalbeings
uponmereassertions as to theself-evident nature and wouldthusdutifully selectliberaldemocratic
ofparticular humanrights. In viewofthediversity principles ofjustice.The premisethatindividuals
of moralsystemsin the world,it is difficult to couldnegotiate forfundamental principles in the
understand why the of
presumption universality absence of culture is quite fantastic. And this is
could endure so long without being seriously precisely the root of the problem:underlying the
questioned.The answerlies in thepsychologicalpresumption of universality is the beliefthatall
predisposition of human to
beings generalize from peoples think in a similar fashion.
theirown perspective. Westernphilosophers in The mostremarkable exampleof a scholar
particular seem to be to
prone projecting their assuming that there is a single correctpatternof
moralcategories on others.As a consequence, the moralreasoningcan be foundin the workof
presumption ofuniversality is deeplyingrained in LawrenceKohlberg.His stagetheoryof moral
Western moralphilosophy. development is perhapsthemostblatantly univer-
salisticmoraltheoryone could imagine.Those
surveyed whodidnotreasonaccording to precon-
c) "EveryoneThinksthe Same" ceivedstyleswere consideredto have retarded
powersofmoralreasoning. Amongotherthings,
Twoofthebestknownexamples of these tenden- his work has been challenged as failing totakeinto
ciesare Immanuel Kant and John Rawls (1971). account gender differences (Gilligan1982). Its
Theirconceptual the
devices, categorical impera- cross-cultural validity is still
tiveandtheoriginal position, respectively, presup- astounding nature of Kohlberg'spresumption of
pose the existence of a set of universal moral is
universality typified by his conclusions in an
principles.Many philosophers employKantian articleabout capitalpunishment (Kohlbergand
notionsas a vehicleto advancehumanrights. As
Feinberghas observed,however,theclaimsthat 14 The reasonfortherisk-averserequirementis thatotherwise
humanbeingsare "ends in themselves" or "sa-
people mightpreferless egalitariandistributive principles.
cred"or"ofinfinite value"arethemselves inneed Because theyare risk-averse,theyworrythatwithoutsuch
(1973:92). Kantianmoraltheory principlestheymightend up as thepoor. The explanation
ofa foundation -
assumestheexistence ofa singlepattern ofmoral for the non-envy requirement has to do withthe avoidance
of socialism. Since Rawls allows for some inequalities
reasoning.The abstractrationalprocess pre- is
throughthedifference principle,theexistenceofenvymight
sumedto beara singleand universal result,irre- lead theparticipants in theoriginalpositionto prefera more
spective ofcultural differences. strictly egalitariansystem.


This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
350 Alison Dundes Renteln

Elfenbein 1975).On hisview,reaching thehighest Some of the articlesconcerningelections

stageof moral development entailsrejection ofthe reflecta preference fora particular kindofpolitical
deathpenalty.Even thoughKohlbergneverre- system. Articles 18,19, and 20 provideforrights to
vealshisownconvictions, itseemsclearthatthese freedomof thought,religion,and association.
conclusions mayreflect hisownvalues.Kohlberg's Article21 guaranteesthe rightto participate in
moraltheoryrepresents a classicexampleof the government, equal accessto publicservice,and
fallacieswhichaccompanythe presumption of freeelections.In Article21 (3) the ideological
universality. Needlessto say, in the eventone basisof thehumanrightstandardis mademani-
disagreeswithKohlberg, e.g., on thedefensibilityfest:"The willofthepeopleshallbe thebasisof
of the death penalty,one's abilitiesin moral the authority of government: thiswill shall be
reasoning are called intoquestion. This kind of expressed periodic genuineelections
in and which
thinkingtypifies theuniversalist position,namely shallbe by universal and equal suffrage shall
thatalternative of
patterns thought are dismissed be held by secret vote or byequivalent freevoting
fromtheoutset. procedures." While these articlesclearlyembody
thepreferred set of politicaldevicesof Western
liberaldemocratic regimes, theprovisions maynot
d) Problems with International Human Rights be universally accepted. From the Third World
Documents perspective,Article21 seeks to "universalize
Western-style elections"(Zvobgo1979:95),which
Insteadoffacing thereality ofmoraldiversity from are obviouslynotuniversal:"Monarchies, dicta-
thebeginning, thosewhoparticipated in drafting torships,single-party rules,or single-candidate
international humanrights standards avoidedthe electionsare not non-existent in today'sworld"
issue.To circumvent fundamental disagreement,(Sinha 1978: 144). Of course,one cannotinfer
theindividuals involved tookthetackofincluding fromtheexistenceof thesepoliticalregimesthat
a widerangeofrights intheUniversal Declaration the people themselves preferthemto Western-
ofHumanRights.To havesomeunderstanding of styledemocracies. Butitis ethnocentric toassume
the natureof the problemswhichinternationalthatWestern electoralprocedures areunanimous-
humanrights haveencountered, itis necessary to lyfavored.
review brieflytheuniversal rights setforth insome It is notonlyinthepoliticalrealmthathuman
of the main international humanrightsinstru- rightsseem not to be expressionsof universal
ments. values.Some of therightsconcernedwithsocial
As shouldbe clearbynow,itis onlywithin a lifemay also be unrepresentative of the entire
universe ofsharedvaluesthatthepresumption of world.For instance,Article16 providesforthe
universality encountersno difficulties. Various right tomarry andtofounda family. Article16(2)
international humanrightsinstruments have re- stipulates thatmarriages shallbe enteredintoonly
mainedcontroversial, however, precisely because withthe freeand fullconsentof the intending
they contain values which are not shared on a spouses.And finally, Article16 (3) specifies that
worldwidebasis. Several provisionsfromthe thefamily is thenaturaland fundamental unitof
UniversalDeclarationof Human Rightsshould society, andis entitled toprotection bysocietyand
demonstrate the extentto whichthe presumed thestate.It is notclearifthefundamental unitis
universality of some humanrightsprovisionsis the nuclearfamilyor whethertheArticlemight
calledintoquestion. allowforthekinship groupinstead.Thephraseolo-
Article17 providesthat"Everyonehas the gysuggests thatonlytheimmediate familycan be
righttoownproperty aloneas wellas inassociation understoodto be the basic unit,whichwould
withothers"and that"no one shallbe arbitrarilyappear to be insensitive to the manysocieties
deprivedof hisproperty." The value underlyingwhichhave different patterns of socialorganiza-
thisstandard is hardlyuniversal. One commenta- tion.The provision guaranteeing voluntary choice
torrefers to theproblemwithArticle17as one of ofmarriage partners runscounter tothepractice of
culturalimperialism because it "... seeks to arrangedmarriages, whichis an integralpartof
imposefreeenterprise andcapitalism ontherestof manyvalue systems of theworld.Even thefirst
the world"(Zvobgo 1979:95). Anotherhuman clauseholdingthatthereis a rightto marryand
rightsanalystrejectsthe universality of Article founda familymay be problematic whenone
17(1): "The community ideologydoes notadmit considersthattherehave been manyrestrictions
of privateproperty, exceptin consumergoods" on theright tomarry andprocreate, whichwereat
(Sinhá1978:144). one timeregardedas moralby Americans, e.g.,

This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
The Concept of Human Rights 351

compulsory sterilization,prohibition ofhomosex- culture based.Bymaking a distinction between the

ual marriages, and anti-miscegenation laws. catalogueand the conceptof humanrights,he
Somebelievethatthereasonwhymanyofthe wantsto allowforthedevelopment of particular
valuesin the UniversalDeclarationof Human rightsstandardsfordifferent social systems.In-
Rightsappearto be Westernis thatthe Third steadof "thecatalogueof one particular society
Worlddidnotparticipate ingreatnumbers whenit beingrammeddownthethroatof anotherunder
was drafted.Zvobgo (1979:95) maintainsthat, the crusadic[sic] disguiseof human rights"
weretheDeclarationto be debatedagainin the (1978:159), Sinhaprefersto let societiesdevise
GeneralAssembly,the finaldraftwould differ theirownmeansofpaying homagetohumanrights
significantly from what was adopted in 1948. standards. But while histheory is culturally sensi-
Others,while acknowledging that the United tive,it cannotprovideanyuniversais. Henceit is
Nationshumanrights debatetookplaceat a time no longera theoryof humanrights butrathera
whenthegreatmajority of ThirdWorldnations theory of cultural rights.
werestillundercolonialrule,stillmaintain thatthe
contribution oftheThirdWorldwas"bynomeans
negligible" (Alston1983:61; 1987:59-60).Among 5. Non-WesternConceptionsof Human Rights
the most active participants were Chile, China,
Cuba, India, Lebanon, and Panama. At the The international documents are notsufficient, in
GeneralAssembly in1948,Egypt,Ethiopia,Libe- and of themselves, to resolvethe questionof
ria,Afghanistan, thePhilippines, Thailand,India, whether thehumanrights whichtheyenumerate
andPakistan, as wellas alloftheCentralandLatin areWesternor universal. Of course,itis possible
American Stateswereamongthe48voting infavor thattheycould containsome rightswhichare
of theDeclaration.Saudi Arabia,SouthAfrica, universal andsomewhicharenot.To decidewhich
andtheEasternEuropeannationsweretheeight rightsare trulyuniversal,some have soughtto
abstentions;no one voted against (Alston characterize theconceptofhumanrights according
1983:61). to variousgeographical, cultural,religious,and
Since thereis still considerablereason to ideological perspectives. It is important, however,
believethat the Declarationbears a Western to be aware of the limitations ofthisliterature.
imprint, thissuggests thattheroleofgovernment First,theredo notevenexistarticleson the
elitesat international settings may not be indica- conceptofhumanrights in all societies.Whether
tiveof the traditional value systems which they are or not those about which nothing is written have
supposed represent. The problem with the well-defined concepts of human rights we do not
particular of
configuration rights found in the know. Second, the articles that do exist tend to
UniversalDeclarationis thatsome of the rights focusonwhatisdistinctive abouttheconceptinthe
maynot be compatiblewiththe diversevalue country or religion in question.So theresultmay
systems of the world. Consequently, the promul- be to afford insight intothedistinctive features of
gation of the Universal Declaration appears to the concept rather than to provide any indication
manycountries as theimposition ofan alienvalue aboutwhataspectsmightbe consistent withthe
system: "Thus, to the extent these kinds of rights values embodied in the international documents.
are concerned,we have the scenarioof one The pointis that the emphasisis on what is
particular culture,or one particular ideology,or distinctive rather thanwhatis common.Third,we
one particularpoliticalsystemclaiming to be cannot whether
tell ornottorelyonthecharacter-
imposedupon the entire world ... . It is self- izations provided.Analysts, evenwhenspeaking
defeating forthehuman-rights movement to take of the same culture, sometimes give radically
thelatterapproachandsay,forceprivate property different interpretations to theconceptandoften-
upon the Soviet Union or China, or abolish timesformulate conclusions on thebasisof mis-
arrangedmarriages India, or force general leading evidence. Discussions of humanrights in
elections in SaudiArabia,and then- and hereis China,forexample,tendto focuson whatrights
the greatestdangerof all - retirein the smug Chineseofficials havegranted rather thanonwhat
delusionthathavingdonethat,justicehasthereby thetraditional valuesare. Fourth,no systematic
beenachievedfortheindividual" (Sinha1978:144, comparative analysesof humanrightshave ever
159). beenundertaken.
Sinhaattacksthe singlecatalogueapproach In the processof evaluatingnon-Western
because it does not take into account cultural perspectives, one is struckby thelack of appro-
variability. He advocatesan approach which is priatedocumentation. Whatthereisisgenerally not


This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
352 Alison Dundes Renteln

wellsubstantiated and is oftenso vaguethatit is Howard, R. E.

not possibleto tell whetherthe societyreally 1986 Human Rights in CommonwealthAfrica. Totowa,
N. J.: Rowman and Littlefield.
supports particularrightsor not. Moreover,the 1986 Is therean AfricanConceptofHuman Rights?In: R. J.
focusis on legalandreligious textsfromwhichwe Vincent (ed.), Foreign Policy and Human Rights;
cannotgleantheinformation necessarytotellwhat pp. 11-32. Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress.
thecultural normsare. By drawing almostexclu-
Kannyo, E.
sively thewrittenmaterialsoftheelites,they 1980 Human Rights in Africa: Problems and Prospects.
giveus nowayofdetermining whether indigenous New York: InternationalLeague forHuman Rights.
perceptions ofmorality includehumanrights. 1984 The Banjul Charteron Human and People's Rights:
Genesis and PoliticalBackground.In: C. E. Welch Jr.
The following is a representative of
selection and E. I. Meltzer(eds.), Human Rightsand Develop-
thekindsofarticleson non-Western conceptions mentin Africa;pp. 128-151. Albany: State University
ofhumanrights whichare availableat present: of New York Press.

Kunig, P.
1982 The Protectionof Human Rightsby InternationalLaw
African in Africa. German Yearbook of InternationalLaw 25:
Adegbite,L. O.
1968 AfricanAttitudesto the InternationalProtectionof Legesse, A.
Human Rights. In: A. Eide and A. Schou (eds.), 1980 Human Rights in African Political Culture. In: K.
InternationalProtectionof Human Rights;pp. 69-81. Thompson (ed.), The Moral Imperativesof Human
New York: IntersciencePublishers. Rights; pp. 123-138. Washington,D. C: University
Press of America.
Akpan,J. E.
1980 The 1979 Nigerian Constitutionand Human Rights. Marasinghe,L.
UniversalHuman Rights2: 23-41. 1984 TraditionalConceptionsofHuman Rightsin Africa.In:
C. E. WelchJr.and R. I. Meltzer(eds.), Human Rights
Asante, S. K. B. and Developmentin Africa;pp. 32-45. Albany: State
1968-1969 Nation Buildingand Human Rightsin Emergent
AfricanNations.CornellInternationalLaw Journal1/2: Universityof New York Press.
72-107. M'Baye, K.
1982 Human Rightsin Africa.In: K. Vasak and P. Alston
Bello, E.
1981 Shared Legal Concepts Between African Customary (eds.), The International
Normsand International Conventionson Humanitarian vol. 2: 583-600. Westport,Conn.: Greenwood Press.
Law. Indian Journalof InternationalLaw 21: 79-95.
Mojekwu, C. C.
Cobbah, J. A. M. 1980 InternationalHuman Rights:The AfricanPerspective.
1987 AfricanValues and the Human Rights Debate: The In: J. L. Nelson and V. M. Green (eds.), International
African Perspective. Human Rights Quarterly 9: Human Rights;pp. 85-95. New York: Human Rights
309-331. PublishingGroup.
Gittleman,R. Neff,S. C.
1982 The AfricanCharteron Human and Peoples' Rights:A 1984 Human Rightsin Africa. Internationaland Compara-
Legal Analysis. VirginiaJournalof InternationalLaw tiveLaw Quarterly33: 331-347.
22: 667-714.
Okafor,F. U.
Haile, M. 1985 Human Right and Justice:The AfricanPerspective.
1984 Human Rights,Stability,and Development in Africa: Philosophyand Social Action 11 (3): 25-33.
Some Observationson Concept and Reality. Virginia
Journalof InternationalLaw 24: 575-615. Okoli, E.
1982 Toward a Human RightsFrameworkin Nigeria.In: A.
Hountondji,P. J. Pollis and P. Schwab (eds.), Toward a Human Rights
1986 The Master'sVoice-Remarkson theProblemofHuman
Framework;pp. 203-222. New York: Praeger.
Rights in Africa. In: UNESCO; pp. 319-332. Paris:
UNESCO, Takirambudde,P. N. (ed.)
1982 The IndividualUnder AfricaLaw. Proceedingsof the
Howard, R.
1983 The Full Belly Thesis: Should Economic RightsTake First All-AfricaLaw Conference,Oct. 11-16, 1981.
PriorityOver Civil and PoliticalRights?Evidence from Universityof Swaziland, Departmentof Law. Private
Sub-Saharan Africa. Human Rights Quarterly 4: Bay, Kwaluseni,Swaziland.
Turack, D. C.
1984a EvaluatingHuman Rightsin Africa:Some Problemsof 1984 The AfricanCharterof Human and Peoples' Rights:
Implicit Comparisons. Human Rights Quarterly 6: Some PreliminaryThoughts. Akron Law Review 17:
160-179. 365-381.
1984b Women's Rights in English-Speaking Sub-Saharan
Africa. In: C. E. Welch Jr. and R. I. Meltzer (eds.), Umozurike,U. O.
Human Rightsand Developmentin Africa;pp. 46-74. 1983 The AfricanCharteron Human and Peoples' Rights.
Albany: State Universityof New York Press. AmericanJournalof InternationalLaw 77: 902-912.


This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
The Concept of Human Rights 353

Wai, D. M. Lee, M.
1979 Human Rightsin Sub-SaharanAfrica.In: A. Pollis and 1985 NorthKorea and theWesternNotionofHuman Rights.
P. Schwab(eds.), Human Rights:Culturaland Ideolog- In: J. C. Hsiung (ed.), Human Rights in East Asia;
ical Perspectives;pp. 115-144. New York: Praeger. pp. 129-151. New York: Paragon House Publishers.
Weinstein,W. Leng, S.
1976 Africa's Approach to Human Rights at the United 1980 Human Rights in Chinese Political Culture. In: K.
Nations. Issue 6: 14-21. Thompson (ed.), The Moral Imperativesof Human
Rights; pp. 81-107. Washington, D. C: University
Wiseberg,L. Press of America.
1976 Human Rightsin Africa: Toward a Definitionof the
Problemof a Double Standard. Issue 6: 3-13. Lo, C.
1948 Human Rightsin theChineseTradition.In: UNESCO,
Human Rights; pp. 186-190. London and New York:
Allan Wingate.
Nathan, A. J.
1986a Political Rights in Chinese Constitutions.In: R. R.
Burks,A. W. Edwards, L. Henkin,and A. J. Nathan (eds.), Human
1985 Japan: The Bellwetherof East Asian Human Rights?
Rightsin Contemporary China; pp. 77-124. New York:
In: J. C. Hsiung (ed.), Human Rights in East Asia; Columbia UniversityPress.
pp. 31-53. New York: Paragon House Publishers. 19865 Sources of Chinese Rights Thinking.In: R. R. Ed-
wards, L. Henkin, and A. J. Nathan (eds.), Human
Chang,C. C.
1946 Political Structurein the Chinese Draft Constitution. Rights in ContemporaryChina; pp. 125-164. New
York: Columbia UniversityPress.
Annals. American Academy of Political and Social
Science 243: 67-76. Scoble, H. M., and L. Wiseberg(eds )
1985 Access to Justice.London: Zed Books.
1979 Human Rightsin Chinese Historyand Chinese Philoso- Sutter,R. B.
phy. ComparativeCivilizationsReview 1: 1-19. 1978 Human Rightsin China. Washington,D. C: Congres-
sional Research Service,Libraryof Congress.
Edwards,R. R.
1986 Civiland Social Rights:Theoryand Practicein Chinese Tai, H.
Law Today. In: R. R. Edwards, L. Henkin, and A. J. 1985 Human RightsinTaiwan: ConvergenceofTwo Political
Nathan(eds.), Human Rightsin ContemporaryChina; Cultures?In: J. C. Hsiung(ed.), Human Rightsin East
41-75. New York: Columbia Press. Asia; pp. 79-108. New York: Paragon House Pub-
pp. University
Edwards, R., L. Henkin, and A. J. Nathan (eds.) Wilson, R. W.
1986 Human Rights in ContemporaryChina. New York: 1985 Rights in the People's Republic of China. In: J. C.
Columbia UniversityPress.
Hsiung(ed.), Human Rightsin East Asia; pp. 111-126.
New York: Paragon House Publishers.
1983 Human Rights in the People's Republic of China. Woo, P. K. Y.
Daedalus 112: 111-138. 1980 A MetaphysicalApproach to Human Rights froma
Chinese Point of View. In: A. Rosenbaum (ed.), The
1986 The Human Rights Idea in ContemporaryChina: A Philosophyof Human Rights;pp. 113-124. Westport,
Conn.: Greenwood Press.
ComparativePerspective. In: R. R. Edwards, L. Hen-
kin,and A. J.Nathan(eds.), Human Rightsin Contem- Yamane, H.
poraryChina; pp. 7-39. New York: Columbia Univer- 1982 Asia and Human Rights.In: K. Vasak and P. Alston
sityPress. (eds.). The InternationalDimensionsofHuman Rights;
vol. 2: 651-670. Westport,Conn.: Greenwood Press.
Hsiung,J. C. (ed.)
1985 Human Rightsin East Asia: A Cultural Perspective.
New York: Paragon House Publishers.
Huang, M.
1979 Human Rightsin a RevolutionarySociety:The Case of
the People's Republic of China. In: A. Pollis and P. 1986 The Concern for Human Rights: Real and False.
Schwab(eds.), Human Rights:Culturaland Ideological Moscow: NovostiPress AgencyPublishingHouse.
Perspectives;pp. 60-85. New York: Praeger.
Blaser, A. W.
Inagaki,R. 1984 The Rhetoric, Promise, and Performanceof Human
1986 Some Aspects of Human Rightsin Japan. In: UNES- Rights: Soviet and American Perspectives.Journalof
CO; pp. 179-192. Paris: UNESCO. Applied Behavioral Science 20: 471-489.
Kim, I. Blishtshenko,I. P.
1985 Human Rightsin South Korea and U. S. Relations. In: 1973 Human RightsPracticein the USSR and Its Internatio-
J. C. Hsiung (ed.), Human Rights in East Asia; nal Impact. Berlin: GDR Committee for Human
pp. 55-75. New York: Paragon House Publishers. Rights.


This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
354 Alison Dundes Renteln

Chalidze, V. Soviet/
1974 To Defend These Rights:Human Rightsand the Soviet
Union. New York: Random House.
Herman,H. J.
1965 Human Rights in the Soviet Union. Howard Law
Chernenko,K. U.
1981 Human Rightsin Soviet Society. New York: Interna- Journal11: 333-341.
tionalPublishers. 1979 American and Soviet Perspectiveson Human Rights.
Worldview22 (11): 15-21.
Dean, R. N. A. W.
1980 BeyondHelsinki:The Soviet View of Human Rightsin Blaser,
1984 The Rhetoric, Promise, and Performanceof Human
InternationalLaw. VirginiaJournal of International
Law 21: 55-95. Rights: Soviet and American Perspectives.Journalof
Applied Behavioral Science 20: 471-489.
Kadarkay,A. Kelley, R.
1982 Human Rights in American and Russian Political 1984
Comparingthe Incomparable:Politicsand Ideas in the
Thought.Washington,D. C: UniversityPressofAmer- United States and the Soviet Union. Comparative
ica. Studies in Societyand History26: 672-708.
Kartashkin,V. A. McWhinney,E.
1977 Convenantson Human Rightsand Soviet Legislation. 1962 "Peaceful Co-Existence" and Soviet-WesternInterna-
Revue des Droits de l'Homme 10: 97-115. tionalLaw. AmericanJournalof InternationalLaw 56:
Kennan, E. L.
1980 Human Rights in Soviet Political Culture. In: K. Somerville,J.
Thompson (ed.), The Moral Imperativesof Human 1948 Comparison of the Soviet and Western Democratic
Rights;pp. 69-79. Washington,D. C: UniversityPress Principles,withSpecial Referenceto Human Rights.In:
of America. UNESCO, Human Rights; pp. 152-155. London and
New York: Allan Wingate.
1976 Soviet Citizen: Their Rights and Duties. Moscow:
NovostiPress AgencyPublishingHouse.
V. N.
1986 Human Rightsand the Soviet Constitution.In: UNES-
Cavoski, K.
CO; pp. 83-94. Paris: UNESCO. 1982 The Attainmentof Human Rightsin Socialism. Praxis
International1: 365-375.
LaPenna, I.
1977 Human Rights: Soviet Theory and Practice. Conflict
Egorov, A. G.
Studies83: 1-15. 1979 Socialism and the Individual- Rightsand Freedoms.
Soviet Studies in Philosophy18: 3-51.
Lee, S. H.
1985 The Status of the Debate on Rights in the USSR. Gjoliku, L.
Studiesin Soviet Thought30: 149-164. 1984 The Socialist Order Is the Most Democratic. Albania
Today 3 (76): 46-51.
Leonidov, E.
1982 Democracy - True and False. InternationalAffairs Heuman, S. E.
(Moscow) 11: 3-10. 1979 A Socialist Conception of Human Rights: A Model
from PrerevolutionaryRussia. In: A. Pollis and P.
Medvedev,F., and G. Kulikov Schwab (eds.), Human Rights:Culturaland Ideological
1981 Human Rightsand Freedoms in the USSR. Moscow: Perspectives;pp. 44-59. New York: Praeger.
Szymanski,A. 1982 The SocialistConcept of Human Rights.In: K. Vasak
1984 Human Rights in the Soviet Union. London: Zed and P. Alston (eds.), The InternationalDimensionsof
Books. Human Rights; vol.2: 631-643. Westport, Conn.:
Greenwood Press.
1948 The Conceptionof the Rightsof Man in the U. S. S. R. Kataio, N. L.
Based on OfficialDocuments. In: UNESCO, Human 1981 The Rightsand Duties of Young People. In: Human
Rights; pp. 158-176. London and New York: Allan Rightsin SocialistSociety;pp. 90-101. Moscow: Novo-
Wingate. sti Press AgencyPublishingHouse.

Webster,A. F. C. Nielsen, K.
1983 Human Rightsin the USSR: Two Views of Socialist 1982 Capitalism,Socialism,and Justice.In: T. Regan and D.
Van DeVeer (eds.), And JusticeforAll; pp. 264-286.
Reality. Religious Humanism17: 14-21.
Totowa, N. J.: Rowman and Littlefield.

1981 The SocialistConceptionof Human Rights.In: Human
Rightsin SocialistSociety;pp. 7-23. Moscow: Novosti
Press AgencyPublishingHouse.


This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
The Concept of Human Rights 355

Przetacznik,F. Developmentin Africa;pp. 75-89. Albany: State Uni-

1977 The SocialistConceptof Human Rights:Its Philosophi- versityof New York Press.
cal Backgroundand PoliticalJustification.
Revue Beige
de Droit International13: 238-278. Gazzali, M.
1962 Human Rights in the Teaching of Islam. Cairo: Al
Spasov, B. makhtabatal-Tjariyah.
1981 The Politicaland Civil Rightsof the IndividualUnder
Socialism. In: Human Rights in Socialist Society; Haider, S. M.
1978 Islamic Concept of Human Rights.Lahore: The Book
pp. 72-89. Moscow: Novosti Press Agency Publishing House.
Hakim, K. A.
Tay, A. 1955 FundamentalHuman Rights.Lahore: The Instituteof
1978 Marxism,Socialism,and Human Rights.In: E. Kamen-
ka and A. Tay (eds.), Human Rights; pp. 105-112. Islamic CulturePublications.
London: Edward Arnold. Hassan, R.
1982 On Human Rightsand the Qur'anic Perspective.In: A.
Tay, A. E.
1981 Socialism and Human Rights. In: A. E. Tay (ed.), Swidler (ed.), Human Rightsin Religious Traditions;
TeachingHuman Rights;pp. 73-76. Canberra: Austra- pp. 51-65. New York: PilgrimPress.
lian GovernmentPublishingService. Ishaque, K. M.
1974 Human Rightsin Islamic Law. Review of the Interna-
tional Commissionof Jurists123: 30-39.
Marxist Kabir, H.
1948 Human Rights:The IslamicTraditionand theProblems
Buchanan,A. E. of the World Today. In: UNESCO, Human Rights;
1981 The MarxianCritiqueof Justiceand Rights. Canadian pp. 191-194. London and New York: Allan Wingate.
Journalof Philosophy7: 269-306.
Hirszowicz,M. 1946 Human Rightsin Islam. Annals. AmericanAcademyof
1966 The Marxist Approach. InternationalSocial Science Politicaland Social Science 243: 77-81.
Journal18: 11-21.
Kolakowski,L. 1984 The Islamic Conception of Justice.Baltimore: Johns
1983 Marxismand Human Rights.Daedalus 112: 81-92. Hopkins UniversityPress.
Lukes, S. Malik, J. I.
1982 Can a Marxist Believe in Human Rights? Praxis 1981 The Concept of Human Rights in Islamic Jurispru-
International1: 334-345. dence. Human RightsQuarterly3: 56-67.
Macfariane, L. J. Mawdudi, A. A.
1982 MarxistTheory and Human Rights. Governmentand 1976 Human Rightsin Islam. London: The IslamicFounda-
Opposition17: 414-428. tion.
Markovie, M. Nasr, S. H.
1982 Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights. Praxis 1980 The Concept and Reality of Freedom in Islam and
International1: 386-400. Islamic Civilization. In: A. Rosenbaum (ed.), The
Philosophyof Human Rights; pp. 95-101. Westport,
Conn.: Greenwood Press.
Islamic Nawaz, M. K.
1965 The Conceptof Human Rightsin IslamicLaw. Howard
Ahmed,M. K. Law Journal11: 325-332.
1956 Islamic Civilizationand Human Rights. JRevueEgyp-
tiennede Droit International12 (2): 1-21. [in Arabic] 1980 Human Rights in Islamic Political Culture. In: K.
Bassiouni,M. C. (ed.) Thompson (ed.), The Moral Imperativesof Human
1982 The Islamic CriminalJusticeSystem.London: Ocean Rights; pp. 139-167. Washington,D. C: University
PublicationsInc. Press of America.

Coulson, N.J. Rabbath, E.

1957 The State and the Individualin Islamic Law. Interna- 1959 La théoriedes droitsde l'hommedans le droitmusul-
tionaland ComparativeLaw Quarterly6: 49-60. man. .Revue Internationale de Droit Comparé 11:
1982 Human Rights Practices in the Arab States: The Rahman, S. A.
Modern Impact of Shari'a Values. Georgia Journalof 1978 The Qur'an and FundamentalHuman Rights.Hamdard
Internationaland ComparativeLaw 12: 55-93. Islamicus 1: 71-85.

El Naiem, A. A. Said, A. A.
1984 A Modern Approach to Human Rights in Islam: 1979a Human Rightsin IslamicPerspectives.In: A. Pollis and
Foundations and Implicationsfor Africa. In: C. E. P. Schwab(eds.), Human Rights:Culturaland Ideolog-
WelchJr.and R. I. Meltzer(eds.), Human Rightsand ical Perspectives;pp. 86-100. New York: Praeger.


This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
356 Alison Dundes Renteln

1979b Precept and Practice of Human Rights in Islam. Judaic

UniversalHuman Rights1: 63-79.

Said, A. A., and J. Nassar Henkin, L.

1980 The Use and Abuse of Democracy in Islam. In: J. L. 1976 Judaismand Human Rights.Judaism100: 435-446.
Nelson and V. M. Green (eds.), InternationalHuman Polish, D. F.
Rights;pp. 61-83. Standfordville:Human RightsPub- 1982 Judaism and Human Rights. In: A. Swidler (ed.),
lishingGroup. Human Rightsin ReligiousTraditions;pp. 40-50. New
York: PilgrimPress.
Sinaceur,M. A.
1986 Islamic Traditionand Human Rights. In: UNESCO; Sidorsky,D.
pp. 193-225. Paris: UNESCO. 1979 ContemporaryReinterpretationsof the Concept of
Human Rights.In: D. Sidorsky(ed.), Essayson Human
Tabandeh, S. H.
1970 A MuslimCommentaryon the Universal Declaration Rights;pp. 88-109. Philadelphia:JewishPubi. Society
of America.
on Human Rights. London: F. T. Goulding and Co.

Talhami,G. Catholic
1985 The Human Rights of Women in Islam. Journalof
Social Philosophy16: 1-7.
Baum, G.
Taperell,K. 1979 Catholic Foundationof Human Rights.Ecumenist18:
1985 Islam and Human Rights. AustralianForeign Affairs 6-12.
Record 56: 1177-1184.
Henle, R. J.
Zakaria, F. 1980 A Catholic View of Human Rights: A Thomistic
1986 HumanRightsin theArab World:The IslamicContext. Reflection.In: A. Rosenbaum(ed.), The Philosophyof
In: UNESCO; pp. 227-241. Paris: UNESCO. Human Rights; pp. 87-93. Westport,Conn.: Green-
wood Press.
Hollenbach, D.
Hindu 1979 Claims in Conflict: Retrieving and Renewing the
Catholic Human RightsTradition.New York: Paulist
Mitra,K. 1982 Human Rightsand ReligiousFaith in the Middle East:
1982 Human Rights in Hinduism. In: A. Swidler (ed.),
Reflectionsof a ChristianTheologian. Human Rights
Human Rightsin ReligiousTraditions;pp. 77-84. New
York: PilgrimPress. Quarterly4: 94-109.
Langan, J.
Puntambekar,S. V. 1982 Human Rightsin Roman Catholicism.In: A. Swidler
1948 The Hindu Concept of Human Rights.In: UNESCO,
(ed.), Human Rightsin ReligiousTraditions;pp. 25-39.
Human Rights;pp. 195-198. London and New York: New York: PilgrimPress.
Allan Wingate.

Sastry,K. R. R.
1966 Hinduismand InternationalLaw. Recueil des Cours Christianand Comparative
117: 507-614.

Thapar, R. Abraham, K. C.
1966 The Hindu and Buddhist Traditions. International 1982 Human Rights- IndianChristianExpressions.Religion
Social Science Journal18: 31-40. and Society29 (2): 2-12.
CahUl, L. S.
1980 Towarda ChristianTheoryofHuman Rights.Journalof
Buddhist Religious Ethics 8: 277-301.
Deats, R. L.
Inada, K. K. 1978 Human Rights:An Historicaland TheologicalPerspec-
1982 The BuddhistPerspectiveon Human Rights. In: A. tive. Engage/SocialAction 6: 10-14.
Swidler(ed.), Human Rightsin Religious Traditions;
Harakas, S. S.
pp. 66-76. New York: PilgrimPress. 1982 Human Rights:An Eastern OrthodoxPerspective.In:
Jayatilleke,K. N. A. Swidler (ed.), Human Rightsin Religious Tradi-
1967 The Principlesof internationalLaw in BuddhistDoc- tions; pp. 13-24. New York: PilgrimPress.
trine.Recueil des Cours 120: 445-464.
Schall, J. V.
1981 Human Rights:The "So-Called" Judaeo-Christian
1977 La doctrinedu Bouddha et les droits de l'homme. dition. Communio8: 51-61.
Revue des Droits de l'Homme 10: 5-13. Stackhouse,M. L.
1984 Creeds, Society,and Human Rights:A Studyin Three
Cultures.Grand Rapids, Mich.: WilliamB. Eerdmans


This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
TheConceptofHumanRights 357

A. (ed.)
Swidler, Kumar,S.
1982 HumanRights inReligious NewYork:The
Traditions. 1981 HumanRightsandEconomicDevelopment : TheIndian
Pilgrim Press. Tradition.
3: 47-55.
UNESCO Nanda,V. P.
1979 Meetingof Expertson thePlace of HumanRightsin 1976 FromGandhitoGandhi-International
Culturaland ReligiousTraditions 607/
(SS-79/Conf. to theDestruction
1-9). Paris:UNESCO. Freedomsin India. DenverJournalof International
Law andPolicy6: 19-42.

Miscellaneous Noorani,A. G.
1978 The Judiciary
and theBar in IndiaDuringtheEmer-
gency.VerfassungundRechtin Übersee11: 403-411.
Pandeya,R. C.
Arat,Z. F. 1986 HumanRights:An IndianPerspective.In: UNESCO;
1986 HumanRightsand PoliticalInstabilityin the Third pp. 267-277.Paris:UNESCO.
World.PolicyStudiesReview6: 158-172.
Ferguson,J.A. 1978 TheRamifications ofHumanRights.IndianJournal
1986 The ThirdWorld.In: R. J. Vincent(ed.), Foreign Law 18: 274-278.
Policyand Human Rights:Issues and Responses;
pp.203-226.Cambridge:Cambridge Press.
1981 ThirdWorldResponseto HumanRights.IndianJour- Quesada,F. M.
Law 21: 119-140.
nal ofInternational 1986 Human Rightsin Latin America.In: UNESCO;
Zvobgo,E. J.M. pp. 301-317.Paris:UNESCO.
1979 A ThirdWorldView.In: D. P. Kommersand G. D.
Wiarda,H. J.
Loescher(eds.),HumanRightsandAmerican Foreign 1978 Democracyand Human Rightsin Latin America:
of Notre
Policy;pp.90-106.NotreDame: University Towarda NewConceptualization.
Orbis22: 137-160.
Dame Press.

(Firstvs. ThirdWorld)
Farer,T.J. Henkin,L.
1979 On a CollisionCourse:The AmericanCampaignfor andHuman.Columbian
1979 Rights: LawReview
HumanRightsand theAntiradicalBias in theThird 79:406-425.
andG. D. Loescher(eds.),
World.In: D. P. Kommers Rightsas "Rights":A UnitedStates
1981 Economic-Social
Human Rights and American Foreign Policy; HumanRightsLaw Journal
Perspective. 2: 223-236.
of NotreDame
pp.263-277.NotreDame: University T.
Press. 1968 HumanRights:An AmericanView. In: K. J. Keith
Hauser,R. E. pp.45-48.Wellington:
(ed.), EssaysonHumanRights;
1979 A FirstWorldView. In: D. P. Kommersand G. D. SweetandMaxwell.
Loescher(eds.), HumanRightsandAmerican Foreign
of Notre Sellers,J.
Policy;pp. 85-89. NotreDame: University ofJustice.
1979 HumanRightsandtheAmerican
Dame Press. 62: 226-255.

(India) (HumanRightsand RegimeType)

1978 HumanRights: AccountabilityandDevelopment. Indi- Berger,P.
an Journal Law 18: 279-283. 1977 Are Human Rights Universal?Commentary 64:
1980 Human Rightsin Indian PoliticalCulture.In: K. Hoffmann, S.
Thompson(ed.), The Moral Imperatives of Human 1981 DutiesBeyondBorders.Syracuse: SyracuseUniversity
Rights;pp. 109-122.Washington, D. C: University Press.
Howard,R., andJ. Donnelly
Johnson,W. G. 1986 HumanDignity: HumanRightsandPoliticalRegimes.
1986 HumanRightsPractices in DivergentIdeologicalSet- American PoliticalScienceReview80: 801-817.
tings:HowDo Political PolicyChoices?
PolicyStudiesReview6: 58-70. (HumanRights and Capitalism)
Khanna,H. R.
1978 Futureof Human Rightsin Contemporary World. Rimlinger,
G. V.
Law 18: 133-138.
IndianJournal andHumanRights.Daedalus112:51-79.
1983 Capitalism


This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
358 Alison Dundes Renteln

(Western) 6. The Realityof CulturalDiversity

Claude, R. P. Sinceitis notpossibleto concludethatall cultures

1977 The WesternTraditionof Human Rightsin Compara- do sharethesameconceptofhumanrights
tive Perspective. Comparative JuridicalReview 14:
on the
4-66. basisof evidencecurrently available,thismeans
that culturaldifferences may raise significant
Cranston,M . The presumption ofuniversality
1973 What Are Human Rights?(2nd ed.) London: Bodley problems. begins
Head. to totterwhenit confronts divergent interpreta-
tionsofhumanitarian standards.
Raphael, D. D.
1966 The Liberal Western Tradition of Human Rights.
InternationalSocial Science Journal18: 22-30.
1967 Human Rights.Old and New. In: D. D. Raphael (ed.), a) The Case of Female Circumcision
PoliticalTheoryand the Rightsof Man; pp. 101-118.
Bloomington:Indiana UniversityPress. Thereare twotypesoffemalecircumcision. F. P.
Hosken, one of the leadingopponentsof the
(Regional) practice, offers thetypology:
1. SunnaCircumcision: removalof the prepuce
Hannum,H. and/or
1984 Guide to InternationalHuman RightsPractice. Phila- tipoftheclitoris.
delphia: Universityof PennsylvaniaPress.
2. Excisionor Clitoridectomy: excisionof the
entireclitoris withthelabia minoraand someor
Comparisons) mostoftheexternal genitalia.
3. ExcisionandInfibulation (Pharaonic Circumci-
Bozeman, A. B. sion): This means excision of the entire clitoris,
1971 The Futureof Law in a Multicultural
World. Princeton: labia minora,and partsofthelabia majora.The
PrincetonUniversityPress. twosidesofthevulvaarethenfastened in
Donnelly,J. somewayeitherbythethorns... or sewingwith
1982 Human Rights and Human Dignity: An Analytic catgut.Alternatively thevulvaarescrapedrawand
Critique of Non-Western Conceptions of Human thechild'slimbsaretiedtogether forseveralweeks
Rights. American Political Science Review 76: untilthewoundheals(orshedies).Thepurposeis
1985 The Conceptof Human Rights.New York: St. Martin's toclosethevaginalorifice. Onlya smallopeningis
Press. left(usuallybyinserting a slither[sic]ofwood)so
the urineor laterthe menstrual blood can be
1983 Human Rightsin Asia and Africa.Human RightsLaw passed (Hosken 1976:30; see also Huelsman
Journal4: 403-442. 1976).
Womenwholiveinsocietieswherethepractice of
Okere, B. O.
1984 The Protectionof Human Rights in Africa and the circumcision continuesmust undergosurgery
AfricanCharter on Human and Peoples' Rights: A throughout life.Womenwhoareinfibulated have
ComparativeAnalysiswiththeEuropean and American to be openedto permitintercourse and to be cut
Systems.Human RightsQuarterly6: 141-159. open further for the deliveryof a child(Daly
Pollis, A., and P. Schwab 1978:157). Sometimes womenare sewnup again
1979 Human Rights: A Western Constructwith Limited afterdeliverydependingon the wishesof their
Applicability.In: A. Pollis and P. Schwab (eds.), husbands.
Human Rights:Culturaland Ideological Perspectives;
Female genitalmutilation occursin certain
pp. 1-18. New York: Praeger.
tribesinthefollowing countries: Kenya,Tanzania,
Sinha, S. P.
1978 Human RightsPhilosophically.Indian JournalofInter-
Ethiopia,southern Egypt,Sudan,Uganda,north-
nationalLaw 18: 139-159.
ern Zaïre, Chad, northern Cameroun,Nigeria,
Dahomey,Togo, northern Ghana,UpperVolta,
Tomuschat,C. Mali,northern IvoryCoast,Liberia,SierraLeone,
1981 Is Universality
ofHuman RightsStandardsan Outdated
and Utopian Concept? In: R. Bieber und D. Nickel Guinea,GuineaBissau,theGambia,Senegal,and
(Hrsg.), Das Europa derzweitenGeneration:Gedächt-
Mauritania(Hosken1976:22). Excisionin small
nisschriftfürChristophSasse; vol. 2: 585-609. Strass- girlsstilltakesplaceinYemen,SaudiArabia,Iraq,
burg:Engel Verlag, Kehl am Rhein. Jordan, andSyria.Theoperation isalsoperformed
in Europe when membersof tribesemigrate
(Anonymous 1984a).It is difficultto pinpoint the
precisenumberof girlswhoundergothesurgery

This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
TheConceptofHumanRights 359

because the operationis usuallyperformed in child,(2) theright to sexualandcorporealidenti-

secret.The Minority RightsGroupreportstates: ty,and (3) therightto health.Her conclusion is
"Thetotalnumber ofwomenaffected isinanycase that:"Although theright to healthargument may
unknown, butwithout anydoubtinvolvesseveral notbringimmediate results, itis likelytohavethe
tensofmillions ofwomen"(McLeanandGraham mostsuccessbecauseitconsiders thepractice from
1983:3). A morescholarly articlecitesfigures of theperspective oftheAfricans. . . [it]integrates
between thirty andseventy-four million womenas theissuesofphysical, mental, andsexualhealthas
beingcurrently circumcised in at least twenty well as child development" (1985: 176-177).
African countries (Boulware-Miller 1985:156). Unfortunately, thehealthargument is subject
There are variousjustifications offeredfor to at leasttwotelling criticisms. First,thepeoples
femalecircumcision. The mainone is thepreser- whosewayoflifeiscriticized, whether onhealthor
vationofthemoralpurity ofwomen.The opera- moralgrounds, maynotsee a difference between
tionsupposedly insuresthe fidelity of wives.In the twotypesof argument. That is, even if the
1938Dr. AllanWorsley analyzedthereasonsgiven argument based on healthis on its face more
forthepractice:"Although itis oftendenied,the sensitiveto culturaldifferences, thosepracticing
preservation virginity lies at the root of this the custom maysuspect that the real argument is
custom"(Worsley 1938:686-691).Dalynotesthat thatWesterners object to it on moral grounds.
"A basicbeliefthatjustifies all,erasingallrespon- Moreover,the argument is renderedeven less
is of coursethattheseriteskeep women effective
sibility bythefactthatoperations ofthistypeare
faithful"(Daly 1978: It
160). complicates theissue now carried out in hospitals under thoroughly
furtherthattheoperation isperformed bywomen, antiseptic conditions.
whichmightmake it appear thatmen bear no The factthatmanywomenin the society
responsibility perpetuating the practice. In perpetuate the customis one whichmustbe
fact,bothmenandwomeninsurethecontinuationsquarelyfaced.The presumption of universality
ofthepractice. cannotalterthereality thatthepractice isaccepted
In thepast,international organizations have as moralbymembers oftheculture.
beenunwilling to getinvolvedbecauseofprofess-
edrespect forthecultural traditions ofothers.And
perhapstheirreluctance reasonable,sincethe b) The Case of Child Labor
customis acceptedas moraland legitimate in the
societiesin whichit occurs.Those who do not The spectreofrelativism also rearsitsheadinthe
undergo surgery are ostracized. Apparently, case of childlabor. Todayanywhere from 52to 150
no one will marryuncircumcised girls. In one million children (underage 15) work throughout
study, conducted bymeansofa detailedquestion- theworld.The conditions are oftenexploitative
naireadministered to3210femalesand1545males and unhealthy. As a consequence,manyin the
intheSudan,itwas shownthattheratioofthose international community havefocussed theirener-
whofavored continuing thepracticeto thosewho giestowardsthecompleteeradication ofall forms
didnotwas5 to 1 forwomenand7 to 1 formen, ofchildlabor.Thisgoalofabolitionis justified in
thoughthemajority was againstthemostsevere absolutist terms:"a necessaryevil" (Dogramaci
Pharaonic type(El Dareer1983). 1985:11; Mendelievich [ed.] 1979:55; Blanchard
Thereis a tendency amongcurrent to
writers 1983:23; Rodgers Standing and [ed.]1981:v; Bou-
speak of female circumcision not as morally dhiba 1982: 11), "an affront to our conscience"
abhorrent or acceptablebut rather in terms of the (Blanchard 1983: 6), "a scourge"(Valcarenghi
healthproblemsthat it causes. Warningthat 1981: 12, 23), "unnatural"(Mendelievich[ed.]
femalecircumcision maywellbe hazardousto the 1979:48), "tragic"(Dogramaci1985:10), and "a
healthof younggirlsinitially seemsto avoidthe moralindictment on oursociety"(Chan1980:78).
pitfalls the moral dilemma. For this reason this is Francis Blanchard, the Director-General of the
increasinglythe sort ofposition that international International Labor Organization, has said that
organizations such as WHO and UNICEF are the goal ofthe international community should be
taking.Perhaps the best discussion of female "... ultimately, the elimination of child labor"
circumcision alongtheselines,withintheframe- (1983:6), whichisjustified onthebasisof"univer-
work of humanrights,is an articleby Kay sal values"(1983:20). In its1984reporton child
Boulware-Miller (1985). Here she discussesthree labor,theAnti-Slavery SocietyfortheProtection
majorhumanrights arguments challenging female of Human Rightsacknowledged theWestern bias
circumcision as (1) a violationoftherights of the in international legislation but,nonetheless, con-


This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
360 AlisonDundesRenteln

eludedthat UNICEF shouldmake "a specific presumethatall moralcodescontainthesameor

commitment to theeradication ofchildlabourin similarvalues. Women's rightsand children's
allitsforms" (Anonymous 1984b: 46,57). Another rights areproblematic becausesocietiesdo notall
glaringexample of the universalist presumption is believe that these groupsdeservespecialstatus.
foundintheinternational editionofNewsweekin So, to asserttheexistenceof universal standards
itsspecialreport entitled "All WorkandNo Play- forthemis ethnocentric. Therecognition ofmoral
The World'sYoungestLaborersSacrificetheir diversity calls intoquestionthe presumption of
Childhoodin Days of Endless Toil" (Smolowe universality andleaveshumanrights vulnerable to
etal. 1983;emphasisadded). The languageand theapparentdangersofrelativism.
melodramatic tone reflectthe deeplyingrained
Westernwayof thinking aboutchildhood.They
alsoconvey themessagethatthepropergoalought References
to be thecompleteabolitionofchildlabor. Acton,H. B.
Despitethe presumption thatchildlaboris 1950 Rights.Aristotelian SocietySupplementary Volume,
entirely wrong,it is an economicnecessity.In 24: 95-110.
manysocieties, children areexpectedto helpwith Alston,P.
thefamily businessor to bringhomea substantial 1983 The Universal Declaration at35: Western andPasseor
of the income. It is an Alive and Universal?International Commission of
portion family accepted part JuristsReview 31: 60-70.
of thewayof lifein muchof the world,and is 1987 The UnitedNationsand the
EllipticalNotionof the
perceived as naturalandmoral:"In mostagrarian Universality of HumanRights.In: Is Universality in
societies,children's workis notonlyhighly prized Jeopardy?; pp. 51-64.NewYork:UnitedNations.
forits economicutilitybut as representing the
highestideals of the culture,viz. obedience, 1983 Human RightsDocuments.Committeeon Foreign
respect,orfilialpiety.Servingthoseaboveone in Affairs.Washington, D. C: UnitedStatesGovernment
thedomestic of statuses is PrintingOffice.
hierarchy age concep- UnkindestCut. NursingTimes 80 (Jan.18):
tualizedas moralduty,oftenas a sacredobliga- 1984a The Sr-10.
tion"(LeVine 1984:3). 1984b Childrenin EspeciallyDifficult Circumstances.Lon-
The ethnocentric assumption intheliterature don: Anti-Slavery Society.[StudypreparedforUNI-
leads to a narrow-minded solutionwhichis not CEF]
onlyunworkable, butwhichis also undeniably a Bedau,H. A.
formofcultural imperialism. Sincetheconceptof 1968 Rightsas Claims,Reasons,and Needs. International
childhood variesacrosscultures, as do ideasabout Congress ofPhilosophy; Proceedings 3: 132-136.
1982 International HumanRights.In: T. Reganand D. V.
work,it is notwiseto adoptan absolutist aboli- DeVeer (eds.), And Justicefor All; pp. 287-308.
tionistapproach,even as a long-term objective. Totowa,N. J.: Rowman& Littlefield.
Children's workis an essentialpartofthefamily's
survival;andunlessthatistakenintoaccountwhen 1979 PoliticalTheoryandInternational Relations.Princeton:
policiesareformulated, theviability ofinternation- PrincetonUniversity Press.
al standards to protectchildren willbe uncertain. Bilder,R. B.
By no means does thisimply we shouldturna 1969 Rethinking
that InternationalHumanRights:Some Basic
blindeyeto theproblem.It is simply thatoutright Questions.HumanRightsJournal 2: 557-608.
condemnation is ineffectiveand,indeed,counter- Blackstone, W. T.
productive. Greatercultural sensitivity wouldper- 1968 EqualityandHumanRights.TheMonist52: 616-639.
mittheformulation of moregloballyacceptable Blanchard,F.
strategies. 1983 ReportoftheDirector-General; Part1: ChildLabour.
va: International
7. Conclusion Boudhiba,A.
1982 Exploitationof Child Labour. New York: United
I havetriedtoshowthat,properlyinterpreted,the
of human is with moral Boulware-Miller,K.
concept rights compatible 1985 FemaleCircumcision: to thePracticeas a
that are centeredon otherthan Challenges
systems concepts HumanRights Violation.HarvardWomen's LawJour-
rights.This would removethe objectionthat nal 8: 155-177.
duty-based systems cannotaccommodate human J. (ed.)
rights. even ifhuman in
rights, the abstract, 1843 The Worksof JeremyBentham.London:Simpkin,
maybe possiblein anymoralsystem, we cannot Marshall& Co.


This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
The Conceptof Human Rights 361

Brandt,R. Frankena,W. K.
1959 EthicalTheory.Englewood Cliffs:Prentice-Hall. 1952 The Concept of UniversalHuman Rights.Symposium:
Science, Language, and Human Rights; pp. 189-207.
Braybrooke,D. Philadelphia:Universityof PennsylvaniaPress.
1972 The Firm but Untidy Correlativityof Rights and
Obligations. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 1: Friedman,L. M.
351-363. 1971 The Idea of Right as a Social and Legal Concept.
Journalof Social Issues 27: 189-198.
Chan, P.
1980 The ForgottenLittlePeople: A Studyof Urban Child Fuchs, A. E.
Labour in a Developing Economy. Asian Economies 1981 Taking Absolute RightsSeriously.WorldCongresson
35: 67-79. Philosophyof Law and Social Philosophy,10th, II.,
1973 What Are Human Rights?(2nd ed.) London: Bodley Garet, R.
Head. 1983 Communalityand Existence: The Rightsof Groups.
SouthernCaliforniaLaw Review 56: 1001-1075.
Daly, M.
1978 Gynecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism. Gilligan,C.
Boston: Beacon Press. 1982 In a DifferentVoice. Cambridge:Harvard University
1976 Collective Human Rightsof Peoples and Minorities. Golding,M . P.
Internationaland Comparative Law Quarterly 25: 1968 Towards a Theory of Human Rights. Monist 52:
102-120. 521-549.
1978 The Conceptof Rights:A HistoricalSketch.In: E. and
Dogramaci,I. B. Bandman (eds.), Bioethics and Human Rights;
1985 Child Labour: An Overview. In: P. M. Shah (ed.),
Child Labour: A Threat to Health and Development; pp. 44-50. Boston: Little,Brown.
pp. 7-12. Geneva: Defense forChildrenInternational. Gros Espiell, H.
1979 The Evolving Concept of Human Rights: Western,
1982 Human Rights and Human Dignity: An Analytic Socialist, and Third World Approaches. In: B. G.
Ramcharan(ed.), Human Rights:ThirtyYears afterthe
Critique of Non-Western Conceptions of Human UniversalDeclaration; pp. 41-65. The Hague: Marti-
Rights. American Political Science Review 76:
303-316. nus Nijhoff.
1985 The Conceptof Human Rights.New York: St. Martin's Hart, H. L. A.
Press. 1973 Benthamon Legal Rights.In: A. W. B. Simpson(ed.),
Oxford Essays on Jurisprudence (2nd series);
1977 Taking RightsSeriously.Cambridge:Harvard Univer- pp. 171-201. Oxford:ClarendonPress.
Press. 1979 Are There Any Natural Rights?In: D. Lyons (ed.),
Rights;pp. 1-25. Belmont,Cal.: WadsworthPublishing
Edwards,R. R., L. Henkin, and A. J. Nathan (eds.) Company.
1986 Human Rights in ContemporaryChina. New York:
Columbia UniversityPress. Hevener, H. K. (ed )
1981 The Dynamics of Human Rights in U. S. Foreign
El Dareer, A. Policy. New Brunswick and London: Transaction
1983 Attitudesof Sudanese People to thePracticeofFemale Books.
Circumcision.InternationalJournalof Epidemiology
12: 138-144. Hohfeld,W. N.
1964 Fundamental Legal Conceptions. New Haven: Yale
Emerson,R. UniversityPress.
1974-1975The Fate of Human Rights in the Third World.
WorldPolitics27: 201-226. Hook, S.
1970 Reflectionson Human Rights. In: H. E. Kiefer and
Feinberg,J. M. K. Munitz (eds.), Ethics and Social Justice;
1966 Duties, Rights, and Claims. American Philosophical pp. 252-281. Albany: State Universityof New York
Quarterly3: 137-144. Press.
1970 The Nature and Value of Rights. Journalof Value
Inquiry4: 243-257. Hosken, F. P.
1973 Social Philosophy.Englewood Cliffs:Prentice-Hall. 1976 WIN News: Women'sInternationalNetwork(Lexing-
1980 Rights,Justice,and the Bounds ot Liberty:tssays in ton, MA) 2/1:30-44.
Social Philosophy. Princeton: Princeton University
Press. Hudson, S. D.
1979 A Note on Feinberg'sAnalysisofLegal RightsinTerms
Flathman,R. E. oftheActivity ofClaiming.Journalof Value Inquiry13:
1976 The Practiceof Rights.Cambridge:CambridgeUniver- 155-156.
Hudson, S. D., and D. N. Husak
Flew, A. 1980 Legal Rights: How Useful is Hohfeldian Analysis?
1979 What is a Right?Georgia Law Review 13: 1127-1141. PhilosophicalStudies37: 45-53.


This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
362 Alison Dundes Renteln

Huelsman,B. R. Malraux, A.
1976 An AnthropologicalView ofClitoraland OtherFemale 1946 La conditionhumaine.Paris: Gallimard.
Genital Mutilations.In: T. P. Lowry and T. S. Lowry
(eds.), The Clitoris;pp. 111-161. St. Louis: WarrenH. 1979 The Nature of Human Rights.ArchivfürRechts-und
Green, Inc.
SozialphilosophieSupplementa,1: 379-393.
Husak, D. N. 1980 Human Rightsand Civil Rights.PhilosophicalStudies
1984 WhyThere Are No Human Rights.Social Theoryand 37: 391-403.
Practice1: 125-141.
1985 Why There Are Human Rights. Social Theory and Martin,R., and J. W. Nickel
1978 A Bibliographyon the Nature and Foundations of
Practice2: 235-255.
Rights,1947-1977. Political Theory6: 395-413.
InternationalCommissionof Jurists 1980 Recent Work on the Concept of Rights. American
1976 Human Rightsin a One-PartyState. London: Search PhilosophicalQuarterly17: 165-180.
Kaplan, A. 1965 Rights.PhilosophicalQuarterly15: 115-127.
1980 HumanRelationsand Human Rightsin Judaism.In: A. 1975 The Rightto Life. Mind 84: 403-425.
Rosenbaum (ed.), The Philosophyof Human Rights; 1976 Rights- Some ConceptualIssues. AustralasianJournal
pp. 53-85. Westport,Conn.: Greenwood Press. of Philosophy54: 99-115.

Kearns,T. R. McLean, S., and S. E. Graham

1975 Rights,Benefits,and NormativeSystems.Archiv für 1983 Female Circumcision,Excision, and Infibulation:The
Rechts-und Sozialphilosophie61: 465-483. Facts and ProposalsforChange. Report# 47. London:
1985 Toward a Foundation for Human Rights. Man and Melden, A. I.
World13: 219-240. 1952 The Concept of UniversalHuman Rights.Symposium:
Science, Language, and Human Rights; pp. 167-188.
Kohlberg,L., and D. Elfenbein Philadelphia:Universityof PennsylvaniaPress.
1975 The Development of Moral JudgmentsConcerning
Mendelievich,E. (ed.)
Capital Punishment.AmericanJournalof Orthopsychi- 1979
Childrenat Work.Geneva: International Labour Office.
atry45: 614-640.
Meron, T.
Lamont,W. D.
1984 Human Rightsin InternationalLaw: Legal and Policy
1950 Rights. AristotelianSociety SupplementaryVolume,
24: 83-94. Issues; 2 vols. Oxford:Clarendon Press.
Meyers,D. T.
LeVine, R. A. 1981 Human Rightsin Pre-Affluent
Societies. Philosophical
1984 EthicalRelativismand Child Labor. Paper presentedat
the Symposiumon Ethical Relativism,American An- Quarterly31: 139-140.
thropologicalAssociation. Milne, A. J. M.
1986 Human Rightsand Human Diversity:An Essay in the
LeVine, R. A., and M. I. White
1986 Human Conditions:The CulturalBasis of Educational Philosophyof Human Rights.Albany: State University
of New York Press.
Development. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Moore, S. F.
Lopatka, A. 1969 Comparative Studies. In: L. Nader (ed.), Law in
1979 On the Notionof Human Rights.GDR Committeefor
Culture and Society; pp. 337-348. Chicago: Aldine
Human RightsBulletin4: 5-11.
Lyons,D. Morris,H.
1969 Rights,Claimants,and Beneficiaries.AmericanPhilo- 1981 The Statusof Rights.Ethics 92: 40-56.
sophical Quarterly6: 173-185.
1970 The Correlativityof Rights and Duties. Nous 4: Mower, A. G., Jr.
45-57. 1976 Human Rightsin Africa: A Double Standard?Revue
des Droits de VHomme9/1:39-70.
Lyons,D. (ed.)
1979 Rights.Belmont,Cal.: WadsworthPublishingCompa- Nickel,J. W.
ny. 1982 Are Human Rights Utopian? Philosophyand Public
Affairs11: 246-264.
Lyons,H. 1987 Making Sense of Human Rights:PhilosophicalReflec-
1981 Anthropologists,Moralities, and Relativities: The tions on the UniversalDeclaration of Human Rights.
Problemof Genital Mutilations.Canadian Review of
Berkeley:Universityof CaliforniaPress.
Sociologyand Anthropology18: 499-518.
Novak, M.
Machin,T. R. 1986 Human Rights and the New Realism. New York:
1980 II. Some Recent Work in Human Rights Theory. Freedom House.
AmericanPhilosophicalQuarterly17: 103-115.
Pagels, E.
Mackie, J. L. 1979 Human Rights:Legitimizing
a RecentConcept.Annals.
1978 Can There Be a Rights-BasedMoral Theory?Midwest AmericanAcademyofPoliticaland Social Science 442:
Studiesin Philosophy3: 350-359. 57-62.


This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
TheConceptofHumanRights 363

Panichas,G. E. Sinha,S. P.
1985 The Structure of Basic Human Rights.Law and 1978 HumanRights IndianJournal
Philosophically. ofInter-
Philosophy 4: 343-375. nationalLaw 18: 139-159.
Panikkar,R. Smolowe,J. etal.
1982 Is theNotionof HumanRightsa WesternConcept? 1983 AllWorkandNo Play:TheWorld'sYoungest Laborers
Diogenes120:75-102. SacrificetheirChildhoodin Days of EndlessToil.
Newsweek (January24) (Internationaledition):
Pappu,S. S. R. R. 20-25.
1969 The Idea of HumanRights.International Reviewof
History andPoliticalScience6: 44-54.
1982 HumanRightsandHumanObligations: An East-West 1974 Antigone[originally written442-441B.C.]. In: The
Perspective. Philosophy andSocialAction8: 15-28. ThebanPlays.Harmondsworth: PenguinBooks.
Perelman, C. M. L.
1982 The Safeguarding and Foundation of HumanRights. Stackhouse,
1984 Creeds,Society,andHumanRights:A StudyinThree
Law andPhilosophy 1: 119-129. Cultures. GrandRapids,Mich.:WilliamB. Eerdmans
Perry, T. D. Publishing Co.
1977 A Paradigm of Philosophy: Hohfeldon Legal Rights.
American 14: 41-50. Stavropoulos, P.
Philosophical Quarterly 1984-1985HumanRights andtheSovereign State.Melbourne
Pocklington, T. C. Journal ofPolitics16: 35-52.
1982 Against HumanRights.Windsor
Inflating Yearbookof
AccesstoJustice 2: 77-86. Strauss,L.
1953 NaturalRightand History.Chicago and London:
Pollis,A. University ofChicagoPress.
1982 Liberal,Socialist,and ThirdWorldPerspectives of
HumanRights.In: A. Pollisand P. Schwab(eds.), Szabo,I.
Towarda HumanRightsFramework; pp. 1-26. New 1968 TheTheoretical FoundationsofHumanRights.In: A.
York:Praeger. Eide andA. Schou(eds.), International Protectionof
Human Rights;pp. 35-45. New York: Interscience
Ramcharan, B. G. Publishers.
1983 TheConceptofHumanRightsinContemporary Inter- 1982 HistoricalFoundations of HumanRightsand Subse-
nationalLaw. CanadianHuman RightsYearbook: In: K. Vasak and P. Alston
quent Developments.
267-281. (eds.),TheInternational Dimensions ofHumanRights;
Rawls, J. vol. 1; pp. 11-42. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood
1971 A Theoryof Justice. Cambridge: HarvardUniversity Press.
Press. C.
Reddaway, P. B. 1985 HumanRightsin a World- wide Framework: Some
1979 Theoryand Practiceof HumanRightsin the Soviet Current Issues.ZeitschriftfürAusländisches öffentli-
Union.In: D. P. Kommers andG. D. Loescher(eds.), chesRechtundVölkerrecht 45/3:547-584.
Human Rights and American Foreign Policy;
pp. 115-144.NotreDame: University of NotreDame Tuck,R.
Press. 1981 NaturalRightsTheories:TheirOriginand Develop-
ment.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Rodgers, G., andG. Standing (eds.)
1981 ChildWork,Poverty, andUnderdevelopment. Geneva: UNESCO
International LabourOffice. 1948 HumanRights: Comments andInterpretations.
Roshwald, M. 1986 Philosophical Foundationsof HumanRights.Paris:
1958-1959 The Conceptof HumanRights.Philosophy and UNESCO.
Phenomenological Research19: 354-379.
Valcarenghi, M.
Scheingold, S. A. 1981 ChildLabourin Italy.London:Anti-Slavery
and Society.
1974 The Politicsof Rights:Lawyers,PublicPolicy,
PoliticalChange.NewHaven:Yale University Press. Van Dyke,V.
1980 The CulturalRightsof Peoples. UniversalHuman
Schildkraut, £.
1980 Children'sWorkReconsidered.International Social Rights2: 1-21.
ScienceJournal 32: 479-489. Waldron, J. (ed.)
1984 TheoriesofRights.Oxford:OxfordUniversity Press.
Shah,P. M. (ed )
1985 Child Labour: A Threat to Healthand Development. Wasserstrom, R.
Geneva:DefenceforChildren International. 1979 Rights,HumanRights,andRacialDiscrimination. In:
Shue, H. D. Lyons (ed.), Rights; pp. 46-57. Belmont, Cal.:
1980 BasicRights: Subsistence, andU. S. Foreign
Affluence, Wadsworth PublishingCompany.
Policy. Princeton:Princeton Press.
Wellman, C.
Singer, M. 1978 A NewConception ofHumanRights.In: E. Kamenka
1972 The BasisofRightsand Duties.Philosophical Studies andA. Tay(eds.), HumanRights;pp.48-58.London:
23: 48-57. EdwardArnold.


This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
364 AlisonDundesRenteln

1985 A TheoryofRights:PersonsUnderLaws,Institutions, Little-

KnownCustom.Journalof Obstetrics and Gy-
andMorals.Totowa,N. J.: Rowman& Allanheld. of theBritish
naecology Empire45: 686-691.
1956 TheConceptofa LegalLiberty. Law Review Zvobgo,E. J.M.
56: 1129-1150. 1979 A ThirdWorldView. In: D. P. Kommersand G. D.
Loescher(eds.), HumanRightsandAmerican
Worsley,A. Policy;pp.90-106.NotreDame: University
of Notre
1938 Infibulation
and FemaleCircumcision:
A Studyof a Dame Press.


This content downloaded from on Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:50:02 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions