Social Policy, Human Rights, and Development – Share the World’s Resources!

CELEBRATING INTERCONNECTEDNESS AS A SPIRITUAL PARADIGM FOR TEACHING

There is much to celebrate in the possibilities that spiritual interconnectedness presents, as a paradigm for teaching and learning. But it is not a task for the fainthearted because it has as many applications as our human imaginations can envision and few interconnections are as simple to conceive or implement as we would like them to be. The scope for future research is largely unchartered since few examples of specific educational applications promoting interconnectedness appear to exist. Case studies could prove a useful departure because they are capable of casting light upon how academics and educational managers implement interconnectedness as a paradigm for learning and strategic decision-making at the macro level. Mapping behavior and decisions across university functions consistent with interconnectedness principles could also constitute helpful research and would provide institutions and organizations with ideas on how interconnectedness can be put into practice.

|- Crossman, J.E. (2018). Celebrating Interconnectedness as a Spiritual Paradigm for Teaching, Learning, and the Internationalization of Higher Education. In: Dhiman, S., Roberts, G., Crossman, J. (eds) ‘The Palgrave Handbook of Workplace Spirituality and Fulfillment.’ Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-61929-3_37-2


In the past decade, there has been growing interest within the development community in the links between social policy and the building of social inclusion and citizenship. These concerns have been manifest in both a growing body of literature exploring the practical implications of these links (for example, see Kabeer [2005]; Dani and de Haan [2008]) and the engagement of major development institutions in exploring the significance of human rights for development dialogue (DFID 2000; Daniño 2006; OECD/DAC 2006).

This volume (Building equality and opportunity through social guarantees: new approaches to public policy and the realization of rights, 2009) brings together a series of reflections and empirical investigations that address new approaches to social policy in developing countries explicitly pursuing the goal of building citizenship and rights. It has its origins in a collaborative work program between the Chilean Foundation for Overcoming Poverty, the Organization of American States, and the Social Development Department of the World Bank. As noted above, a major feature of this work has been the exploration of innovative approaches to promoting social inclusion through the development of policy approaches under a framework of “social guarantees” (World Bank 2008; World Bank/OAS 2008).

The geographic focus of most of the material presented here is the Americas— specifically, Latin America and the Caribbean. Parts of the book, however, draw on comparative material from outside that region, and there is a case study of the South African experience. The original departure point for this work was an explicit concern for rights-based approaches to social policy implementation. Social policy may have multiple definitions. The most significant distinction is between models that see social policy simply as “policies about the social sectors” and models that see it as an embodiment of cross-cutting concerns with equity, distribution, social justice, and social and livelihood security (Deacon et al. 2003; Moser and Dani 2008). In the latter model, social policy extends beyond the social sectors and has an extremely close relationship with economic policy. It is the latter interpretation that we follow here.

The rights approach to social policy is characterized in terms of three predominant features: (1) the definition and widespread communication of rights, entitlements, and standards that enable citizens to hold public policy makers and providers accountable for the delivery of social policy; (2) a commitment to the equitable delivery of the specified rights, entitlements, and standards; and (3) the availability of mechanisms of redress that citizens may use if they are unable to enjoy specified entitlements. Rights can be characterized as legitimate claims that give rise to correlative obligations or duties. Within this category we are concerned primarily with universal human rights— rights that apply equally to all human beings, irrespective of their membership in particular families, groups, religions, communities, or societies (Moser and Norton 2001). Most human rights apply to the individual, but sometimes the equal worth and dignity of all people can be ensured only through the recognition and protection of individuals’ rights as members of a group (United Nations 2006). In practice, human rights are best seen as moral, political, or legal claims made on the basis of common humanity. The normative basis of the United Nations’ system for promoting and protecting human rights comprises both international legal obligations and international ethical/political obligations.


There are only two hopes for ending this enduring and worsening impasse in world affairs; either a wishful and passive plea for divine intervention, or a concerted awakening of ordinary people who stand together in their millions to say: NO MORE AND NEVER AGAIN!
Nelson Lynch

Notwithstanding the former possibility, there are certain preconditions to be met if a united people’s voice is ever to grow in sufficient strength and stature that it is capable of influencing government decisions and reorienting the currently disastrous world direction. First of all, it is necessary to repeat that there must be a constant presence of millions of people in the streets worldwide who resoundingly espouse the human rights of Article 25, and whose presence must continue unceasingly throughout the day and night ad infinitum. Indeed if something is seriously wrong with your physical body, you don’t go into hospital for just one day, but for a very long period of time until the process of healing has completed its natural course. Correspondingly, the body of humanity is in such a critical condition that the only cure is for countless people of goodwill to gather in the streets, and to peacefully protest for a turnaround in governmental priorities as if the future of the world depends on it—which in a literal sense it does. When the time has come and ordinary citizens embrace the same cause in every country and across different continents, then perhaps we can seriously envision millions of people in each capital city congregated in unison, day after day and week after week in ever renewing numbers.

– See more at: Heralding Article 25: A people’s strategy for world transformation