This article reconceptualises collective rights through five social constructionist lenses (see for example, Searle, 1995; Hacking, 1999; Gergen, 2009), including a shift from an individualistic to a relational conception of the person, the recognition of the contingent nature of people’s lives and realities, the view of rights as values-based, the interdependence between individual and collective rights and the reciprocity between rights and responsibility, and a dialogic approach to governance and accountability. The author argues that such an analysis would enable us to develop an innovative conceptual framework where collective rights could be regarded as a source for peace, harmony, and well-being and could unite global communities in solidarity to pursue a better future for humankind and the planet. As part of this analysis, this article also narrates experiences of communities and organisations as cases-in-point to illustrate that how we understand the nature of collective rights can have a pivotal impact on the way governments and institutions create the conditionality for respecting and protecting collective rights and engage in processes (social, political, economic, religious, environmental, educational, and individual) aimed at achieving a culture of peace and harmony across the globe.
Gill, Scherto. Collective Rights as a Potential Source for Peace, Harmony, and Well-Being in the Global Community. DOC Research Institute (2017). Available at http://e-library.doc-research.org/publications/detail/130.