Document Type : Research Article


Assistant Professor, Institute for the Humanities and Cultural Studies, Tehran, Iran.


The guiding question of this paper is “How can, if at all, the universality of human rights survive critical examinations within the prevailing multiculturalist frame of reference?” This paper examines the possibility conditions of critically reasoning for the universality of human rights. The discussions in this paper runs at two levels of analysis. At the conceptual level, a theoretical monist-pluralist frame of reference will be developed to reformulate the problematic of the universality of human rights in a form more compatible methodologically with multiculturalist approaches in the humanities, social sciences and current discourses of cultural studies. Demonstrating the weaknesses of the alternative solutions, the main hypothesis of this study suggests to refer to a reconstructed version of the “golden rule of reciprocal fairness.” At the practical level, this paper will set forth three “why”, “which”, and “how” questions regarding those principles which can bolster a universal reception of the human rights as fairness.  


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