Week 2 reading questions and discussion

Once you have read this week’s readings, please complete this eResponse by writing concise but thorough answers to all of the following questions. (Article attached)

You must include page numbers in each question–your score will depend on it. I do not require any specific citation format. Just include (author last name, page number) at the end of the relevant sentences. Please note that you must cite when you draw any ideas from the text, whether or not you explicitly quote it. And you must draw your ideas from the text because that is the assignment.

Please be sure that if and when you use a direct quotation from the reading, you also explain what that quotation means in your own words.

Please complete your eResponse by the deadline listed for this assignment.

  1. An-Na’im identifies a basic paradox in human rights on p. 89. What do you understand this paradox to mean, in your own words? (You may paste here the direct quotation from the text, but please also digest this quotation to tell me what you understand it to mean).
  2. An-Na’im argues that the concepts of universality and cultural relativism are tricky because actually all nations have some culturally relativist attitudes toward human rights. He says that one example is that the U.S. is hostile to one category of human rights. What is this category of human rights that the U.S. tends to avoid, and how is that an example of cultural relativism? Answer both parts.
  3. Of all the dimensions or versions of universality that Donnelly describes, is there one that you find particularly convincing? Describe it and explain why you selected it.
  4. How does Donnelly discuss self-determination versus sovereignty?
  5. Be sure to review each of Donnelly’s versions of “universality,” etc. (in other words, each section of the article set off with headings). You do not need to write anything here for #5, but in our class discussion, you will be asked to define a random selection of them.

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