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Title: A comparative study of representations of the deployment of human rights by NGOs in West Bengal and London : a focus on agency and women's human rights
Author: Boyce, Nicole
ISNI:       0000 0004 5347 5771
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis explores the operationalisation of Human Rights at a grassroots level by NGOs. Specifically, it presents a comparative study of how activists in samples of NGOs in West Bengal and London framed their experiences of implementing human rights and development principles, focusing on characterisations of the deployment of human rights in programmes targeted at women beneficiaries. This thesis contributes to a growing literature on tensions between human rights as a universal ethical framework and situated experiences of social activism. It advances knowledge in the burgeoning field of cross-cultural feminism within the wider debate of social inequalities. It draws in Fricker’s work on epistemic injustice to enrich our understanding of this conversation. It examines activists’ accounts of how this abstract framework is implemented on the ground. The thesis explores how NGOs’ perceptions of local economic, cultural and social forces have influenced characterisations of their deployment of the human rights framework. This thesis analyses two linked datasets. The first is drawn from publicly accessible websites of a sample of NGOs in West Bengal and London, and was analysed using a text-mining application. The second dataset comprises interviews with activists from subsamples of NGOs in both countries. An analysis of the research materials identified commonalities underlying the activists’ accounts of their work. In this study, two taxonomies were developed through an iterative process of grounded analysis and comparison with the literature to capture the similarities and contrasts within the research materials. The first taxonomy was constructed to describe social activists’ perceptions of their ability to deploy the human rights framework. A second taxonomy was developed to describe different orientations towards the deployment of women’s human rights. These taxonomies formed analytic frameworks framed by activists’ different perceptions of the ability to engage with human rights and women’s human rights frameworks.
Supervisor: Hine, C.; Guerrina, R. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available