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17. Nov 2017

Upcoming: A public event on human rights

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Human rights, global normativity and Madagascar

Tomorrow, Saturday 19 November 2017, a public event will take place at the court of the town hall of the city of Antananarivo. Announced as “Yearly seminary of the civil society”, this event intends to disseminate the important issue of human rights and its elaboration within society. Following the publicity, actors working in this field will be present and ready for contact.

While such events are nothing spectacular and integral part of most modern, open societies, I take advantage of this occasion to point out the special and still rather new weight on Malagasy society, public discourse and politics. In fact, the idea of universal human rights has become a recognized, very well accepted meta concept of the global. In consequence, it is serving as background source, or as main rhetoric weapon for all those suffering under exploitation or working towards a more equal society.

On Madagascar, it is, among others, the rhetoric of national solidarity (fihavanana) and, even more, of the dina-justice (village conventions), which silently becomes related, in addition to established concepts, to such new ideas. When, for example, during a recent research period in August, the villagers near the town of Morondava (Menabe region) were complaining heavily about insecurity, corruption of police and tribunals, insisting upon their equal rights, like those in higher position or more affluent.

The propagation of universal rights is therefore, in a country with high inequality, much more than an event of simple rhetoric and well-known formula. Rather, it opens the door for claiming internationally accepted rights and to change society. Such interaction between the global and the local is an important ongoing process to accompany, and to analyse too, in Madagascar and elsewhere.

Have fun tomorrow and hopefully without too much rain!

L’Express de Madagascar, p.13


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 (2014-2020) under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No. 702497 – DySoMa.


Über Peter Friedrich Alfons Kneitz

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