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Auteur: Bessis, Sophie
Titel: Western Supremacy
Sub titel: The Triumph of an Idea

This history of colonial and developmentalist thought tells the story of the West's relationship with those parts of the world it came to dominate, from the conquest of the Americas, the slave trade and the scramble for Africa, through to decolonization, the ideology of development and structural adjustment. Sophie Bessis shows how notions of the West have been used to justify imperial economic interests and the emergence of a free trade ideology. Attempts to emulate the Western model have in turn had devastating consequences for the South. Human rights, in theory at least, have become an accepted nostrum throughout the world. Yet those who pride themselves on having invented this universality still lay claim to some privileged right to define its content. Bessis highlights the hypocrisy with which the North applies these standards: one standard for China, with its huge potential market, another for minor African states, one for Muslim oppression of women in Teheran, another in Riyadh. In other words, human rights are still entirely subordinate to economic interest, as everything else in our society.
2002, 352 pag., Euro 26,9
Zed Books, London, ISBN 1842772198


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