Human Rights and Nation-Building in Cross-Cultural Settings

30 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2012

Date Written: March 1, 2012


In a world of diverse cultural traditions that is simultaneously distinguished by the widespread universalist claim that “human rights extend in theory to every person on earth without discriminations irrelevant to merit,” the question unavoidably arises: when, in human rights decision-making, are cultural differences to be respected and when are they not? This essay addresses this issue and provides a methodology for achieving just and respectful results. The essay is derived from an earlier, somewhat longer, version published as “The Universality of Human Rights in a Multicultured World: Toward Respectful Decision-Making,” in The Future of International Human Rights (Burns H. Weston & Stephen P. Marks eds., 1999).

Keywords: Human Rights, Nation-Building, Cross-Cultural Settings, Public Order

Suggested Citation

Weston, Burns H., Human Rights and Nation-Building in Cross-Cultural Settings (March 1, 2012). Maine Law Review, Vol. 60, p. 317, 2008, Available at SSRN:

Burns H. Weston (Contact Author)

University of Iowa-Deceased

405 Boyd Law Building
Iowa City, IA 52242-1097
United States

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