Conflicts in human rights-based development

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This paper aims to bring to light in a systematic fashion the complex, multidimensional conflicts of rights that arise in rights-oriented development paradigms. It first presents a typology of conflicts, including realisation, equality, non-retrogression, and priority for minima, and provides examples to illustrate them. It then explores three conceptual tools that exist for solving these conflicts, namely Sen’s capability approach, Nussbaum’s partial theory of justice, and the UN Guidelines for a human rights-based approach to poverty reduction. We find that although Nussbaum’s work is more informative, overall, the issue of trade-offs is not thoroughly addressed in theory. Moreover, significant conceptual obscurities regarding the elements of the human rights-based approach to development will need to be addressed in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCan We Still Afford Human Rights?
Subtitle of host publicationCritical Reflections on Universality, Costs and Proliferation
EditorsJan Wouters, Koen Lemmens, Thomas Van Poecke, Marie Bourguignon
Place of PublicationCheltenham/Northampton
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
ISBN (Print)978 1 83910 031 4
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

SeriesLeuven Global Governance Series

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