Human rights, social choice and a right to development: revisiting Sen

Mohan, Deepanshu (2016) Human rights, social choice and a right to development: revisiting Sen. [Working papers (or Preprints)] (Submitted)

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A discourse on human rights, is built on including such rights as part of a broader, universal framework (accommodating for moral, ethical claims) that go beyond any constitutionally derived claims and rights or any given set of legitimate laws that are defined by the sovereign of a country. In recent decades, invoking a discussion on safeguarding human rights has become a major way of challenging the level of inequities and oppression within and across countries today that are circumscribing the possibilities of realizing any form of developmental growth. For the purpose of this essay, I am interested in studying the basic formulation of rights, particularly human rights; and exploring its analytical affiliation with the discipline of social choice. A connection that Sen (1999, 2009) draws upon in detail, while arguing for a more inclusive, analytical process in the formulation, recognition of human rights. The social choice approach, as discussed in the essay, has something substantial to offer within the moral, ethical considerations involved in human right(s) formulation by offering a more systematic, non-arbitrary, analytical reasoning basis to the subject. Without getting into the mathematical details of the axioms involved in the theoretical construction of social choice, I draw a general linkage between the formal reasoning behind social choice theory (i.e. involving a diverse set of individual values and preferences in its social welfare function) and its operational connection with human rights.

Item Type: Working papers (or Preprints)
Keywords: Human Rights | Social Choice Theory | Amartya Sen | Development | Jurisprudence
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Human Rights
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal School of International Affairs
Depositing User: Arjun Dinesh
Date Deposited: 15 May 2022 16:27
Last Modified: 15 May 2022 16:27
Official URL:


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