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The Limits of Ethics in International RelationsNatural Law, Natural Rights, and Human Rights in Transition$
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David Boucher

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199203529

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199203529.001.0001

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Natural Rights and Social Exclusion: Cultural Encounters

Natural Rights and Social Exclusion: Cultural Encounters

(p.101) 4 Natural Rights and Social Exclusion: Cultural Encounters
The Limits of Ethics in International Relations


Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the practical implications of the ideas of natural law, natural rights, and social exclusion in the context of cultural encounters. The cases of the European encounters with Australian Aborigines and the American Indians illustrate how such abstract doctrines could provide justifications of occupation. It contends that the use of universal rights is not a phenomenon of the past and that it is often used in practices that are most of the time discriminatory against those who belong to minorities different from the dominant culture.

Keywords:   natural law, natural rights, social exclusion, cultural encounters, cultural discrimination, universal rights

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