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5 Protecting Peoples' Cultural Rights: a Question of Properly Understanding the Notion of States and Nations?

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Chapter Summary

Ivor Jennings suggested that the notion that people shall decide is ridiculous, since one must then first decide who constitutes a people. This chapter overviews the parallel developments within legal theory and international law, aspiring to answer whether these developments have resulted in Jennings' assertion no longer being correct, or whether is rather is true, as Waldron has phrased it responding to calls for protection of indigenous peoples' cultures: engaging in traditions of indigenous community in modern world is like living in Disneyland and believing that one's surroundings epitomize what it is for a culture to really exist, at the same time demanding funds to live in Disneyland as well as protection from modern society for the boundaries of Disneyland. Reacting to claims that there exists no such thing as peoples' human rights proper, it offers some views on what relevance this claim has to the protection of cultural rights.

Keywords: cultural rights; human rights; international law; Ivor Jennings; legal theory; nations; peoples' cultures; protection



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