Journal of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies
Part of Dignity Press, in process
Editor: Amy Hudnall
Dignity and Humiliation, by Morton Deutsch
The Journal of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies is a much needed and very welcome publication. The study of human dignity and humiliation is a relatively new area in the social sciences. It is remarkable that this important area of study has been neglected for so long. Evelin Lindner, more than any other scholar, is the one who has initiated and is giving shape to this area. In her excellent book (Lindner, 2006), she has made a very valuable and original contribution to understanding how attacks on one’s dignity and the experience of humiliation can foster destructive interactions at the interpersonal and international levels.
I note that the centrality of human dignity to human rights was recognized by the United Nations on December 10, 1948, when it adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Its Preamble begins with the statement, “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world …” The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the most authoritative statement of the right of all human beings to dignity and freedom from humiliation. However, as Kofi A. Annan (2005, p. 47) has written:
Without implementation, our declarations ring hollow. Without action, our promises are meaningless. Villagers huddling in fear at the sound of government bombing raids or the appearance of murderous militias on the horizon find no solace in the unimplemented words of the Geneva Conventions, to say nothing of the international community’s solemn promises of “never again” when reflecting on the horrors of Rwanda a decade ago. Treaties prohibiting torture are cold comfort to prisoners abused by their captors, particularly if the international human rights machinery enables those responsible to hide behind friends in high places. A war-weary population infused with new hope after the signing of a peace agreement quickly reverts to despair when, instead of seeing tangible progress towards a Government under the rule of law, it sees warlords and gang leaders take power and become laws unto themselves. And solemn commitments to strengthen democracy at home, which all States made in the Millennium Declaration, remain empty words to those who have never voted for their rulers and who see no sign that things are changing.
The key problem with regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is implementation. In part, lack of implementation results from oppressive-humiliating relations, where those in dominating power fear that they will suffer considerable material loss, as well as degradation, if the oppressive relations are replaced by cooperative-egalitarian ones. In part, lack of implementation results from the lack of awareness that relations need not be oppressive or humiliating, that such relations are not an inevitable and natural state of being which must be accepted. The lack of awareness, a political consciousness that a better relationship is possible, often exists among both the oppressed and the oppressors. In part, it results from our lack of knowledge of how to bring about the changes which would facilitate the peaceful, humane transitions from entrenched oppressive-humiliating relationships to more cooperative, egalitarian ones.
Oppressive-humiliating relations exist at all levels – among and within nations, among and within religious and ethnic groups, between the sexes and within our various institutions (the family, school, workplace, political, healthcare, etc.). It need not be extreme and involve the legal system (as in slavery, apartheid or the lack of a right to vote) nor violent (as in tyrannical societies). It may take the form of “civilized” oppressive-humiliating relationships. Such “civilized” humiliations occur as a consequence of unconscious assumptions and reactions of well-meaning people in ordinary interactions that result from unquestioned norms, habits, symbols and the embedded rules and stereotypes that exist in various institutions.
The Journal of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies provides a splendid opportunity for social scientists and social activists, from various disciplines, to contribute theoretical and research papers, as well as papers relating to practice, which will enhance knowledge of the conditions which foster dignifying as well as humiliating relationships and, more importantly, which will enhance knowledge of how to transform humiliating relationships to dignifying ones.
Annan, Kofi A. (2005). In larger freedom: Towards development, security, and human rights for all. United Nations, New York.
Lindner, Evelin. (2006). Making enemies: Humiliation and international conflict. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Security International.
Teachers College, Columbia University
November 22, 2006
The Journal of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (JHDHS) is an online, peer-reviewed scholarly publication of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies network, a global network of academicians and practitioners who wish to promote a world of more dignity and less humiliation. HumanDHS network members study the dynamics of humiliation, the antecedents and consequences of humiliating behaviors, and interventions to break cycles of humiliation and restore human dignity, believing that this can lead to a resolution of previously intractable conflicts. JHDHS has its electronic base at the University for Peace, Costa Rica , and provides a venue for sharing this research and a forum to define the developing field of humiliation studies, theoretically and in practice. The journal supports a variety of integrative methodologies, including but not exclusive to scientific quantitative and qualitative analysis, photography, poetry, etc.
The Journal of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies maintains a rolling deadline and seeks submissions on topics such as:
Quantitative and qualitative research on the phenomenon of humiliation in its embeddedness into other notions, such as, for example, honor and dignity, and into historic transformations and socio-political structures
Theory-building with respect to humiliation and its differentiation from related concepts such as shame or humility
Case examples of "promising practices" illustrating effective efforts to promote human dignity and transform humiliation
The following areas of research touch upon humiliation. The topics below are listed as possible suggestions and should not be considered inclusive.
Peace and Conflict
History and Conflict
Cycles of Violence
Public Policy Planning
We invite submissions of articles in all areas related to Human Dignity and Humiliation. Articles from all disciplines are welcome; please keep in mind that our readers our multi-disciplinary, practitioners and researchers and aim your language to this audience. We are also very interested in reports of ongoing projects that promote human dignity, pieces of international interest, personal scholarship, and perspectives that represent new and novel ways to foster human dignity.
Send two copies of the article via email as an attachment. One copy should have full identifying markers, the second copy should be set up for blind review-no author's name, work location, etc.
Article should be approximately 20-30 pages, doubled spaced
Parenthetical notes and complete reference page formatted according to the Chicago Manual of Style.
Send any figures, images, or tables in separate files.
Send article as either Microsoft Word or Word Perfect.
Send to: Victoria Fontan, Co-Editor vfontan [at] upeace.org and Amy C. Hudnall, Co-Editor hudnamy [at] isu.edu.
Journal of Globalization for the Common Good
Journal of Globalization for the Common Good (JGCG) is envisioned to enhance the well-being (both physical and spiritual) and prosperity of human kind by serving and promoting the common good through communication and cooperation. This will be based on the following principles:
Dialogue: Communication is the most appropriate vehicle for understanding "others," enhancing intercultural cooperation, creating goodwill, and establishing sound international relations.
Justice: Justice is the key factor in dealing with all human endeavours. It is the creation of a global atmosphere in which all people are treated in a humane and just manner.
Sustainability: In this fast changing world of today, our choices will determine not only how we live in the short run but also how succeeding generations will live in the distant future.
Psychotherapy and Politics International
It is an ideal forum for those who have a keen interest and commitment to the role of humiliation in the genesis of global conflict and post-conflict transition.
Edward Sieveking Emery is the Associate Editor.
The International Journal of Transitional Justice
The International Journal of Transitional Justice is a new journal launching in March 2007. It will publish high quality, refereed articles in the rapidly growing field of transitional justice; that is the study of those strategies employed by states and international institutions to deal with a legacy of human rights abuses and to effect social reconstruction in the wake of widespread violence. The Journal is envisioned as a central site from which to house and build upon an array of research and writing currently available in this field. It is intended to span the analytical bridge between scholars and practitioners, and facilitate sustained interaction across the range of disciplines encompassed by the topic of transitional justice.
an e-journal of cross-disciplinary research at based at the Research Institute of Law,
Politics and Justice, Keele University, United Kingdom
The Journal of Rural Mental Health