Governance and Local Value Systems as an Overarching Framework for Human Rights
December 12,2017   By:chinahumanrights.org
Governance and Local Value Systems as an Overarching
Framework for Human Rights
South Africa
The world human rights will forever evade some nations if their developmental strategies exclude local value systems. Local value systems or frames of reference refers to traditions, norms, values and the entire culture of a given people that defines local identities habits, language and idioms.1 Nations can only convert their freedoms into development if their governance is foundanded on local frames of reference.2 Sought modernities ought to be conformed to the traditions, values and customs of local people and not vice-versa. In this respect China has managed to adapt world systems into its own familiar conceptual frameworks for the benefit of its entire nation. Such adaptation of modernities has witnessed a new paradigm where China is ready to ride beyond its borders, first to the South-South cooperation and beyond. This paradigm, which is based on the project of the Chinese Dream and Socialialism with Chinese Characteristics has witnessed a truimp of stringent governance. The truimp of this project was nowhere more apparent than during the opening speech of the 19th Communist Party China National Congress by President Xi Jinping where he stated that "China's great achievements in socialism with Chinese characteristics do not only mean that socialism has gained strong vitality in China, but has also expanded the pathway to modernization for developing countries around the world."3

The present article regards the above statement by President Xi Jinping as an act of extending China’s successes in poverty alleviation and fast-tracked development to the rest of the developing world.4 It is for this reason that China features in the present article as an example of successeful adaptation of modernity and development into its local value systems. The present article aims to argue that effective governance needs to be rationalised, founded and implemented within the framework of local value systems if it is to yield benefits for the majority of the people it is meant to govern.
The article further argues that adherence to human rights is the ability to deliver basic necessities such as food, healthcare, education, sanitation and providing spaces for accessible and inclusive technological and all-round development to all members of society.5 It further argues that such a goal can only be successfully achieved under coherent and stringent form of governance.
What is coherent governance? Coherent governance is that which is accountable to its people and is able to efficiently deliver on its promises.6 Coherent governance is that which and conformes to local frames of references, those of individuals meant to benefit from the system. The present article proposes that China and South-South cooperation members states take deliberate steps in supporting and encouraging the inclusion of local value systems into governance and other initiatives aimed at national and regional development. The proposal aims at giving primacy to the local value systems as a background for legislation and application of governance. The South-South cooperation member states have to deliberately establish a new paradigm on governance similar to efforts at finding new world order for exchange of resources, technology, and knowledge beyond those dominated by Western powers.7
1 Fowles, Jib. 1996. Advertising and Popular Culture. Foundations of Popular Culture. United Kingdom.
Bohannan, Paul. 1995. How culture works. New York Free Press. Lagerwey, John. and Lü Pyu. ed. 2010. Early Chinese religion. Part 2, The period of division (220-589 AD) Leiden. Boston: Brill. TEMBE, Paul. 2013. 'Re-evaluation of Maoist Discourse - The Trajectory of the Laosanpian.' Centre for China Studies. Chinese University of Hong Kong.
2 Details on this logic, please read: Sen, Amartya (1999). Development as Freedom. New York: Oxford University Press.
3 'Xinhua Insight: Understanding China's path in the next 5 years'. BEIJING, Oct. 15, 2017 (Xinhua)
4 Glitter, David. "China Sells Socialism to the Developing World." The Diplomat. October 28, 2017. https://thediplomat.com/2017/10/china-sells-socialism-to-the-developing-world/. (Accessed on November 5, 2017).
5 Grindle, Merilee. "Good Enough Governance: Poverty Reduction and Reform in Developing Countries". Governance. Pages 525–548. Volume 17, Issue 4. October 2004. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Foster, Andrew D. and Rosenzweig, Mark R., Democratization, Decentralization and the Distribution of Local Public Goods in a Poor Rural Economy (November 2001). PIER Working Paper No. 01-056. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=300421 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.300421 (Accessed on October 28, 2017).
6 Van-Zeil et al. "Governance for sustainable development: a framework." Volume 16, Issue 6. Sustainable Development. Pages 410–421. November/December 2008. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
7 "Chavez, Gaddafi push Africa, South America unity - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Updated 28 Sep. 2009, 1:08am http://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-09-28/chavez-gaddafi-push-africa-south-america-unity/1444614. (Accessed on November 1, 2017).
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