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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 48-63

Humiliation or Dignity: Regional Conflicts in the Global Village

University of Oslo, Institute of Psychology, Norway

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Often regional conflicts are treated as if they are placed in a vacuum, independent of their environment. This paper attempts to put regional conflict regions into the perspective of a globalising world. It is suggested that feelings of humiliation play a central role in this process. Human rights ideals extend dignity to all humankind and prohibit humiliating people as lesser beings. Human rights ideals thus define high goals and consequently create intense feelings of humiliation when violated. Every local conflict is inscribed into the global debate as to how the global village will look like in the future: will human rights reign, or will elites keep underlings in a humiliating position? Expressions that are central to this discourse are discussed in this paper, such as ‘protecting my people’, ‘freedom’, ‘peace’, ‘stability’, as well as ‘war’, ‘enemies’, ‘friends’, ‘terrorists’, ‘soldiers’ and ‘police’.

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