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Palgrave Macmillan

Universal Rights, Systemic Violations, and Cultural Relativism in Morocco

ISBN 9781137339607
Publication Date November 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

This study explores the role played by the Moroccan state in the drafting process of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Author Osire Glacier examines whether universal rights follow logically from the colonial experience and exist as a form of cultural imperialism. By juxtaposing the Moroccan state's systemic practice of torture with its discourse of cultural relativism, she reveals that popular resistance to universal rights, expressed via discourses of relativism and cultural authenticity, correspond to a deliberate form of politics aimed at delegitimizing those very same rights. Ultimately, she challenges critics condemning universal rights as neocolonial to produce new perspectives that can support a more inclusive system protecting universal rights.

Osire Glacier is Professor in the Department of History and the Department of Political Science and International Studies at Bishop's University, Canada. She is the author of the book Political Women in Morocco, Then and Now.

1. The Multiple Actors Present at the Convention against Torture's Origin
2. Internal Politics behind the Moroccan State's Disinterest in a Definition for Torture
3. The Use of Cultural Relativism for the Purpose of Delegitimizing Fundamental Rights
4. Colonialism as a Policy of Resistance to Human Rights Law
5. Human Rights Law as a Tool for International Solidarity
6. Torture Persists Despite the Constitutional Reforms of 2011


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