This paper is concerned with the observation that rights-based approaches to development have tended to ignore the ways in which religion and culture shape understandings of human rights. Although religious traditions often act against the pursuit of human rights, there are also areas of overlap and consensus. The first part of the paper suggests that the absence of a research agenda within development studies on ‘religion and development’ has meant that a significant indigenous mechanism for pursuing rights has been overlooked. Drawing upon examples from India, the second part of the discussion then asks whether a language of social justice based upon the concept of duty is more appropriate than one based upon rights.
Progress in Development Studies (2006) 6 (2) 93-108 [doi: 10.1191/1464993406ps130oa]