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Visiting Fellows
CSCS provides affiliation to Indian and international researchers for varying periods of time. In addition CSCS also invites academics to interact with faculty and students and to present their work at the Centre.

Fellowships at CSCS
The CSCS Fellowships Programme began in 2002 to make its substantial library and faculty resources available to a range of researchers outside the institution.

Conferences and Workshops
List of conferences and workshops held at and conducted by CSCS in recent years.




Current State: Published
9. Legal Identity and Culture




THE CULTURE OF RIGHTS

I
As earlier modules will have made clear, we can approach numerous aspects of everyday life as falling into the domain of some form of cultural practice or the other. In keeping with this approach, in this section we will look at law and legal institutions as a specific cultural form interacting, determining and being determined by the larger ‘cultural’ context in which they are located. Specifically, we will notice the manner in which the contemporary world is steeped in the culture of law and legalisms of various kinds. Simultaneously we will also try and fathom the difficulties that contemporary legal models cause when applied to diverse contexts across the world. As the domain of law and legal practice is vast we will illustrate our study of legal culture through the emergence of the language of ‘human rights’ as the principal mechanism by which most contemporary legal systems across the world distribute and apportion entitlements to their subjects. We will also examine the difficulties that this legal form poses when applied in different cultural contexts across the world.

Though the conceptual history of rights goes back many centuries into the history of Europe, the immediate history of human rights in the contemporary world can be traced back to the second half of the 20th century. This was a period that had been marked by the steady proliferation and deepening of stated commitments by nation states across the world to the notion of human rights. Since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, the United Nations system that emerged at the end of World War II has overseen many human rights covenants, conventions and declarations such as those aiming to foster basic human rights such as freedom from torture, those providing for basic human needs by enshrining human development as a key entitlement, as well as those ensuring the entitlement of certain kinds of political groups to collectively determine their common futures. Besides, there have also been numerous attempts to address through international legal initiatives the specific ‘rights’ of marginal and deprived groups such as children, women, and indigenous people, among others.




For a sense of this history read
pp. 136-142 in Henry J Steiner and Philip Alston, International Human Rights in Context, Law Politics Morals, Text and Materials, Oxford University Press, 2000. You can also visit one of the numerous websites on the internet which will give you a sense of the place of human rights in the contemporary world. For example go to http://www.hreoc.gov.au/hr_explained/hr_internet.html

NGOs in rights advocacy
For a sense of the role of NGO in rights advocacy read the following passage in Henry J Steiner and Philip Alston, International Human Rights in Context, Law Politics Morals, Text and Materials, Oxford University Press, 2000. For a concise look at the history of human rights and the setting up of Amnesty International, read “A Short History of Human Rights” on the Human Rights Web website at http://www.hrweb.org/history.html

The human rights tradition

Group rights

The Shah Bano decision

Exercises

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