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Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya SenVolume I: Ethics, Welfare, and Measurement$
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Kaushik Basu and Ravi Kanbur

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239115

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239115.001.0001

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Elements of a Theory of the Right to Development *

Elements of a Theory of the Right to Development *

Chapter:
(p.80) Chapter 6 Elements of a Theory of the Right to Development*
Source:
Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya Sen
Author(s):

Arjun Sengupta

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239115.003.0007

This chapter spells out the characteristics of the Right to Development, adopted by the 1986 UN Declaration as an international human right. It builds on the six questions identified by Sen as essential for understanding any theory of human rights, regarding importance and universality of human rights, corresponding duties and obligations, methods of protecting and promoting human rights, including justiciability and the place of economic, social, and cultural rights within human rights. The chapter demonstrates that recognizing RTD as a composite of different rights — which improves if any of these rights improve while no right deteriorates — facilitates its implementation by identifying the obligations corresponding to the component rights and their coordination as a development policy. It further argues that such a development policy can be seen as Sen's notion of meta-right, with the identification of duty-bearers with specific obligations. This would facilitate the operationalization of RTD according to human rights standards and allow corresponding obligations including those of the international community to be clearly delineated.

Keywords:   RTD, Right to Development, human rights, meta-right, duty-bearer, duties, obligations-binding, perfect, imperfect, justiciability

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