Pluralism Working Paper No. 6/2010: Human Rights, Pluralims and Civil Society

In this paper, Prof. Sitharamam Kakarala presented an interesting review of the conceptual approaches and strategic actions of human rights – and secular action groups in complex plural societies. His analysis particularly referred to the context of communal violence and conflict issues in contemporary India. He explores salient concerns around religious pluralism and relates them to issues of caste, gender and ethnicity. The paper shows that the inadequacy problem is not confined to civil society practice. Similar struggles can be identified in the realm of social theory development. Concisely the paper explores recent theoretical challenges to the “too simplistic dichotomy between the universal and the particular in understanding the ideals of democracy, human rights” and other core concepts which are closely related to pluralism. The paper goes on to identify a number of key lessons and emerging scenarios which creatively challenge our thinking about social theory and social action for pluralism.

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