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Human Rights Reflection

Human Rights Reflection

You might recall from Week 3 the importance of ethical reflection when determining the impact of your
actions as a public administrator. Engaging in a similar type of reflection when reviewing literature in the
field also can help you determine the possible impact of the latest theories and research on the field of
public administration. How might the human rights readings from this week affect your role as a public
administrator? Did the readings change your perception of human rights?
For this Assignment, you reflect on your perception of human rights and its role in public administration.
You also examine the potential implications that human rights literature might have for public
The Assignment (3�4 pages in APA format): Your Assignment should include the following:
� A detailed and objective description of the human rights issues presented in this week�s readings
� An explanation of the nature of the issue(s) and its significance to you as a public administrator
� An explanation of what the readings meant to you in the context of your feelings, values, knowledge,
and experience
� An explanation of the implications these readings might have for public administrators
� A summary of one of the following:
� What you learned about yourself as a public administrator based on your reaction to the readings
� What you learned about global governance from examining these readings
� Why this knowledge is important to you as a developing public administrator
� How you might apply this knowledge in your future practice
Note: Provide specific examples and cite your references.
Human Rights Reflection

A detailed and objective description of the human rights issues presented in this week’s

According to (De Schutter, 2012), it’s possible to achieve self-determination at the national level
if the international economic environment can be reshaped, and that internationally recognized
human rights provide an effective basis for the realization of this objective. De Schutter presents
the ‘double-mind’ problem that indicates the requirements for countries to comply with their
human rights commitments at home while at the same time being discouraged from doing so in
practice due to the fact that the international environment has not evolved to favor this.
Nevertheless, it is very artificial to separate human rights and trade because fair trading provides
a basis for fairness in human treatment.
Twiss (2011) also suggests that the human rights movement in all its moral, political and legal
aspects provides the most effective basis for a practicable global ethic both in the present and the
foreseeable future. This is supported by the contemporary efforts depicted by the movement to
intersect explicitly with politics and other areas of international law (Benedek, 2007).
During the initial development of human rights as a branch of international law, it was viewed as
an introduction of the Copernican revolution in that through human rights, international law was
being used as a regulatory mechanism of state-citizen relations that hitherto were shielded almost
wholly from international scrutiny. However, in the contemporary world, there is need for
another Copernican revolution in three dimensions: to make possible for use of human rights as a
guide of the exercise of the powers of international organizations, to make sure that transnational
corporations apply their influential abilities in supporting human rights, and to monitor the
influence of measures adopted by states on their national territorial surroundings. There is also a
need for development of coordination forms at the international level which have been
discouraged by the specialized regimes and organizations. Mitigation of the negative effects of

fragmentation is not enough; we need to work towards improving convergence. Finally, we
should not be contented with status quo.
An explanation of the nature of the issue(s) and its significance to me as a public
Twiss’s concern is that many globalists tend to overlook the defining similarities between human
rights and other spheres of international law because they misconstrue the open-textured nature
of human rights and the human rights regime. (De Schutter, 2012) notes that there is need to
solve the ‘double-mind’ problem and that it is not enough to guard against violations of human
rights in the global economy. Rather, we should plan a transition and slowly transform the
structure itself, piece by piece. These issues are significant in public administration because they
give insight on implementation of human rights. Public administrators need to develop structures
to secure the participation of citizens in public decision-making based on human rights public
policies. It is also important for a public administrator to ensure that poor, vulnerable and
discriminated people have a say and take part in the public decisions, and not only influential
stakeholders. There is need to consider the human rights of the most vulnerable groups in all
decisions (Aguilar & Zavala, n.d).
• An explanation of what the readings meant to you in the context of my feelings, values,
knowledge, and experience
Twiss’s tactical use of examples of recent human rights developments to show how human rights
movement significantly incorporates the goals, norms, and features of global ethics created a
reflective encounter with my feelings as to the manner in which the goal of good life for all can
be achieved. With regard to knowledge, the readings challenged my deep-rooted misconception

that human rights are simply an expression of neo-liberal economic hegemony. I realized that
human rights are in fact firmly rooted in relational and mutual understandings of communities
and individuals that coordinate strong notions of communal and individual entitlements among
present and future generations over all matters relating to survival and flourishing of the entire
world. Accordingly, all the readings appealed to my values in the sense that the most important
aspect of leadership respect for human rights in the broad sense. These readings also indicated
that my professional experience should be tailored in with the promotion of human rights across
all dimensions of life.
An explanation of the implications these readings might have for public administrators
These readings might affect public administrators in that they may consider promoting the
establishment of social capital and building capacity to enhance the technical and institutional
quality of the participation of citizens. The readings might challenge public administrators not to
entertain status quo and to take up necessary steps to promote human rights in all dimensions of
the leadership. They may be compelled to promote transparency and accountability of the
governance process and its results. In essence, public administrators are likely to reconsider the
definitive similarities between human rights and other fields of international law.
What I learned about global governance from examining these readings
Global governance greatly affects state-citizen relations and it cannot go unchecked. Effective
global governance can best be achieved if human rights are properly incorporated in all its
dimensions. This is because human rights inform global ethics due to the fact that human rights
movement is well-entrenched throughout the world and it forms a solid basis for democratic
leadership and protection of vulnerable groups in the global society.



Aguilar, L. F. & Zavala, L. E. (n.d). Challenges and Ways Forward for Public Administration
Globally. Retrieved from:


Benedek W. (2007) ‘The World Trade Organization and Human Rights’ in: Wolfgang Benedek,
Koen De Feyter, Fabrizio Marrella, Economic Globalisation and Human Rights, pp. 137-169.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

De Schutter, O. (2012). The Role of Human Rights in Shaping International Regulatory
Regimes. Social Research: An International Quarterly, 79(4), 785-818.

Religious Ethics, 39(2), 204-222.

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