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Theses Master's

Towards Spiritual Dignity, Opting Out of Neoliberalism’s Cultural Imperialism

Sieber, Alexander

From the recent literature, one observes a growing discontent with neoliberalism among scholars of human dignity. New nomenclature such as “the new chronic,”1 “wounded attachments,” 2 and “third-order suffering” 3 have become part of the conversation in how dignity is defined. Most notably, they identify the human spirit as a dimension of political action – such as human rights protection – opening the door for fresh discourse on how the human spirit could be protected via law. I explore how the law is used to protect the human spirit and how law may adapt to someday explicitly protect all souls from the ills of postmodernity. My objective is to build a concrete understanding of how the human spirit features in human rights law. How can one fix the problem of neoliberalism’s cultural imperialism using a cultural rights approach? I ask: Why not address cultural imperialism of non-indigenous souls much like the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) has done for indigenous souls? That is, why not protect the whole of humanity with adequate cultural rights to spirit, and how would that look? I determine that there are clauses in UNDRIP and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) that would promote such a measure.

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More Information

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Stamatopoulou, Elsa
Degree
M.A., Columbia University
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