Universalist Rights and Particularist Duties: The Case of
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Universalist Rights and Particularist Duties: The Case of Refugees
Universalist Rights and Particularist Duties: The Case of Refugees

Author(s): Per Bauhn
Subject(s): Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Migration Studies
Published by: Transnational Press London
Keywords: Universalist Rights; Particularist Duties; refugees; migration; migrants; cosmopolitans;
Summary/Abstract: Human rights seem to co-exist uneasily with the idea of sovereign territorial nation-states. At least at a first glance, as a doctrine of normative ethics, human rights would seem to imply a moral cosmopolitanism, according to which all human beings, regardless of their nationality and citizenship, have equal rights to certain basic goods generally needed for human agency and a decent human life, such as life, health, and freedom. And if human rights apply to all human beings, so do the corresponding duties and responsibilities. In the words of Kwame Anthony Appiah, “the one thought that cosmopolitans share is that no local loyalty can ever justify forgetting that each human being has responsibilities to every other”(Appiah, 2006: xvi). This would make state borders appear morally irrelevant. Whether you live in South Sudan or South Dakota, your rights should be the same.

  • Page Range: 119-128
  • Page Count: 10
  • Publication Year: 2021
  • Language: English