The Building of Exclusionary Identities and Its Effects on Human Rights

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  • Title: The Building of Exclusionary Identities and Its Effects on Human Rights
  • Author(s): Ana Jara
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies
  • Keywords: Identity, Human Rights, Violence, Ethnic Conflict, Ethnosymbolism, Primordialism, Constructivism
  • Volume: 14
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2327-0071 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-2481 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-0071/CGP/v14i01/67-77
  • Citation: Jara, Ana . 2019. "The Building of Exclusionary Identities and Its Effects on Human Rights." The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies 14 (1): 67-77. doi:10.18848/2327-0071/CGP/v14i01/67-77.
  • Extent: 11 pages

Abstract

The construction of a social “other” identity leads in some territories to justifying the marginalization and/or use of violence against those communities identified as such. In this article, the author aims to address the theories of identity building and how socially constructed identities can be transformed and given meaning. Constructivist, primordialist, and ethnosymbolic positions will be analysed in order to understand the effects that identity formation has on human rights and how regimes dominated by exclusionary identities affect the foundational assumptions of universality and inalienability attached to the contemporary concept of human rights. Using the former Yugoslavia as an example, the article will show the connections between exclusionary identity formation and the roots of ethnic conflicts that took place in Eastern Europe in the 1990s. The author will analyse how intolerance in relations between cultural communities affects human rights and how universality is challenged by involving discrimination or assimilation of minority cultures. Moreover, a relevant question is posed about whether the mere unsuccessful integration of minorities, the cultural absolutism that justifies radically exclusionary policies, or the moving in the standards of the acceptable are capable of turning human rights into a disarmed and undermined language of empty constitutionalism.