Human Rights in the Field of Comparative Education
There is no single answer to the question: what are human rights? The answer depends on whom you ask. Several of the papers presented at Fourteenth World Congress of Comparative Education held at Bog aziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey, in June 2010 discussed issues related to human rights from a comparative education viewpoint. The nine papers presented in this book spans from policy analysis to practices in classrooms. They include analyses of human rights from a regional or country perspective, including Greece, Jordan, the Latin American region, Morocco, Northern Ireland, Portugal, the UK, the US, and Turkey. In facilitating a clarification of the ways in which we understand and talk about human rights in the field of comparative education, the editors have analysed and visualized the chapter contributions using Marie-Bénédicte Dembour's categorization of human rights discourses. This is a fruitful exercise as it unravels the fact that we do not always mean the same thing when talking about human rights and also sheds light on the issues within human rights to which we are silent, issues that we should conceivably be discussing. Our engagement in human rights seems to focus on using these rights as leverage to promote our arguments about education, not engaging in a more philosophical debate about human rights. Human rights can be used as an ethical lingua franca and thus providing a fertile ground for nuancing our understanding of human rights. Since we experience a huge gap between morality and reality, an engagement in the ethical perspectives of human rights can help us on the way to closing this gap.
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