Publisher’s Note: The question of how to arrive at a consensus on human rights norm in a diverse, pluralistic, and interconnected global environment is critical. This volume is a contribution to an intercultural understanding of human rights in the context of India and its relationship to the West. The legitimacy of the global legal, economic, and political order is increasingly premised on the discourse of international human rights. Yet the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights developed with little or no consultation from non-Western nations such as India. In response, there has developed an extensive literature and cross-cultural analysis of human rights in the areas of African, East-Asian, and Islamic studies, yet there is a comparative dearth of conceptual research relating to India. As problematically, there is an lacuna in the previous literature; it simply stops short at analyzing how Western understandings of human rights may be supported from within various non-Western cultural self-understandings; yet, surely, there is more to this issue. The chapters in this collection pioneer a distinct approach that takes such deliberation to a further level by examining what it is that the West itself may have to learn from various Indian articulations of human rights as well.
Comment: The subject of human rights in a pluralistic world is critical. Drawing on the vast traditions of India and the West, this volume is unique in providing interdisciplinary essays that range from theoretical, philosophical, normative, social, legal, and olitical issues in the conceptualization and application of a truly global understanding of human rights. While previous literature stops short at asking how Western understandings may be articulated in non-Western cultures, the essays here urthermore examine what the West may have to learn from Indian understandings.