Developing political compassion through narrative imagination in human rights education
This paper argues that political compassion is a necessary disposition for engaging with human rights principles and combatting social injustices such as racial discrimination. Drawing from Martha Nussbaum’s theory of political emotions, the paper concentrates on the need to understand compassion as connected to cognition and practical reasoning. Moreover, the paper offers suggestions of how to educate towards political compassion in human rights education (HRE) through Nussbaum’s notion of narrative imagination. To capture the multiperspectival and partial dimensions of HRE, the paper further employs the work of critical HRE scholars and emphasises the importance of counter-narratives and reflective interpretation of narratives. Refined by critical considerations, Nussbaum’s work on compassion and narrative imagination provides a new and important perspective for understanding the relation between human rights, emotions and social justice in the context of contemporary HRE theory and practice.
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