From Freedom to Self-Governance: Complementing Human Needs with Responsibilities, A Critical Appraisal




Beitzel, Terry

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"Where do we go from here?" is a question recently posed by prominent conflict scholar-practitioners. The following study locates the writings of John W. Burton and human needs theory in relation to broader currents in social and political thought. This study does not discard human needs theory but attempts to complement human needs theory with human responsibilities to present a more robust human social ontology. By complementing human needs with human responsibilities an array of possibilities and challenges become available as the human agent and human social reality are placed at the center of analysis. The following attempts to synthesize the accomplishments of a range of social and political insights that support the goal of self-governance, and thereby acknowledging the role of human social responsibilities in this task. Briefly, answering the question where do we go from here involves going beyond meeting needs to an exploration into what is required of self-governance.



Self-governance, Conflict analysis, Liberalism, Conflict resolution, Civic republicanism, Anthony Giddens