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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on an old - often anthropological - debate over cultural relativism, which, by initiating the very heated Universalist/Relativist debate, has inevitably impacted on the understanding of human rights, which are perceived in two main diverging ways. While modern democracy and human rights are fundamentally complementary to each other, it is interesting to consider how and to what extent, thirty years before the official birth of the Athenian Democracy, human rights were conceptualised outside the European continent, in Western Asia, in Cyrus' Proclamation - a replica of which is kept in the United Nations Headquarters, New York. The chapter follows the spirit of the UN General Assembly Resolution on the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education, holding that "education for human rights and democracy is itself a human right and a prerequisite for the realization of human rights, democracy and social justice".

Keywords: Athenian democracy; Cyrus; human rights; United Nations; Western Asia



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