Determinants of Dignity: From Normative to Quantitative

Research Proposal

Determinants of Dignity: From Normative to Quantitative


Human self-respect is being progressively used, non merely in the vocabulary of society, but besides as a critical aspiration in the political discourse. Given the indispensableness of self-respect to taking a ‘liveable’ life, this Research Proposal intends to determine the public policy determiners of self-respect, at the macro degree and its contextual socio-political elements, at the micro degree, and their interplay that determines results.

Though self-respect has been theoretically analysed, extensively in literature, its empirical footing has non been sufficiently explored, in India. Furthermore, entitlements have been approached from a factual point of position but the theoretical relationship between self-respect, entitlements and socio-political procedures, has barely been explored and studied. It is in these spreads that the proposed survey situates itself and intends to prove self-respect through empirical observation by associating it with the operational model of entitlements and its realisation through socio-political procedures.

Model of the Proposed Research

The current development discourse in India is based on a model of rights and authorization, which is more frequently than non equated with entitlements and does non needfully raise the construct of self-respect. Entitlements are treated as an terminal in themselves. Shouldn’t self-respect, an intrinsic characteristic of human being, be an terminal and entree to entitlements, a procedure? Can entree to entitlements really lead to dignity? This probe can be carried out by the rational tools provided by economic sciences, sociology and political scientific discipline. Given this context, the intended research survey begins with an premise that public policy can continue human self-respect and hypothesizes that self-respect heightening policies are possible through procedures which can interpret entitlements into self-respect. Therefore, the meta inquiry that this proposed research explores is to analyze the political government – political orientation of the province, economic architecture, institutional agreements and their interaction with socio-political procedures – that actualises self-respect.

Why Dignity?

From Greek and Roman Stoics to Sophocles’ Antigone, from Aristotelean tradition to the moorages of the spiritual texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam ( Iglesias, 2001 ) , the philosophy of self-respect, which is by and large understood as a universal value which applies to all human beings’ inherent and intrinsic worth, has found reference in a spectrum of kingdom. Kantian impression of self-respect is embedded in the module of ground, to move morally and is interlinked with the intervention of worlds as terminals in themselves. This position forms the footing for the current human rights tradition, [ 1 ] which establishes self-respect as non-negotiable worth of human individual. Barbara Misztal [ 2 ] ( 2012 ) goes one measure further and asserts that Honneth’s thought that self-respect and unity are important dimensions of the finding of justness, Margaret’s prerequisites for a nice society and Sennet’s call for re-vitalisation of the thought of regard are efforts to “undo the disintegration of societal bonds and solidarity, indicating implicitly or explicitly to esteem for human dignity”,underscoring the pervasiveness of self-respect in assorted spheres.

Lack of self-respect can hold several touchable and intangible manifestations. The former can be related to the kineticss of poorness, gender force, et Al and the latter pertain to non-recognition of a societal individuality, humiliation, unavailability of public sphere, etc.

The capableness theorists [ 3 ] provide the conceptual setup that provides the critical nexus between the intrinsic value of self-respect and the development discourse. Therefore, the realization of self-respect becomes non merely a normative terminal, but besides a public policy necessity, imparting legitimacy to a democratic province. The centrality of self-respect to public policy discourse, therefore, resounds in the basicss of public policy idiom, where the impressions of freedom, societal justness, democracy and equality cease to be merely moral and teleological ends and go touchable policy concerns.

The suggested survey takes off from this peculiar position of self-respect as an entitlement in itself and farther expressions at other entitlements, both touchable and intangible, which are pertinent for its materialization. It considers entitlements as a procedure, taking to self-respect, which is detailed below:

Determining Dignity: Unbundling Procedures

Beginnings of Entitlements

In the current political and economic context, markets and province are the two likely beginnings for creative activity of entitlements, [ 4 ] which can either separately or by their interplay lead to materialization of entitlements. Since there is no proficient, moral or legal ground for markets to run into and fulfill human demands and aspirations, the State does necessitate to put a model of entitlements, derived from the normative fundamental of self-respect, so as to guarantee just equality of chance for cosmopolitan entree to its citizens. In cases where the State can non supply entitlements straight, it must build conditions, wherein each citizen is able to take part in the market and gain plenty to make entitlements for herself.

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Public Policy Determinants

Public policy, which pertains to societal technology, must make procedures and appropriate societal and institutional agreements to act upon and continue the self-respect of citizens. In the public policy context, self-respect can be translated into pattern through the practice of making and prolonging entitlement. This is because there are certain primary entitlements ( for case, instruction, lodging ) which non merely assist people take a life of self-respect but besides guarantee that they have the necessary capablenesss to map, in conformity with their intrinsic value. In fact, a normative model of self-respect can merely be realised through the operational human body of entitlements, centred on the societal and democratic values of freedom, equity and justness.

Traveling Beyond Entitlements

Merely entitlements are non sufficient for the realization of human self-respect. Although, the two constructs are inherently linked and set uping the function of entitlements is an of import measure in developing an enriched policy model for self-respect, human self-respect does non connote entitlements. Entitlements create a infinite within which persons can take at least minimally worthwhile lives that allow them to keep a basic sense of self-respect, but the existent interlingual rendition of entree to entitlements into self-respect requires societal and political staging. This is because public policy when implemented interacts with contextual socio-political procedures. This interplay leads to common reshaping of both, the policy every bit good as the procedures. Therefore, the chief and associated variables of this procedure of materialization of self-respect must be unbundled, which might or might non be knowing results of public policies. Therefore, in order to understand the determiners of self-respect, it is imperative to understand self-respect as a map of public policy every bit good as these procedures.

With this in order, the proposed research moves beyond a additive relationship between entitlements and self-respect and brings within its horizon the contextual variables of the realization of self-respect. Therefore, the basis of this research would non merely be quantification of human self-respect through entitlements, as created by markets and province, but besides its operationalization through socio-political procedures.

Deploying the Model: Components of the Study

The proposed Research, which aims to engageTheory, Policy and Practice, encompasses the undermentioned constituents:

  • Status Study,by quantifying and mapping entree to resource entitlements which can be taken as indispensable for dignified life. The proxy indexs for experiential self-respect will be entree to basic family comfortss ( proper lodging, electricity, H2O and sanitation ) for India at the territory, province and national degree by utilizing informations from Census 2011, as per Space ( Urban/Rural ) and Social Groupings ( General + OBCs, SCs and STs ) .
  • Determining Public Policy Determinants of Access to Entitlements,by understanding the economic architecture, political orientation and institutional agreements required for materialization of entitlements. This would imply prosecuting in root-cause analysis by researching plausible grounds behind differential public presentations of geographical, spacial and societal units by looking at longitudinal macro informations ( Census – 2011, 2001 and 1991 ) and developing relationships between entree, and economic, societal and political indexs. This quantitative analysis exercising would help in understanding the economic architecture and political orientation necessary for creative activity of entitlements, by explicating differential entree in the state.
  • Understanding Socio-Political Procedures and Institutional Arrangements,which contribute to internalization of self-respect and unbundle it operationally, by carry oning an ethnographic analysis.
  • Recommending Policy Architecture,embracing economic, societal every bit good as institutional constituents so as to build and implement self-respect continuing policies.
  • Constructing a Robust Framework for Dignityby locating macro and micro informations within the model of self-respect, entitlement and socio-political procedures.


The survey, which encompasses cross-sectional every bit good as longitudinal analyses, would try to reply the Research Questions by utilizing quantitative every bit good as qualitative research methods.

Quantitative Analysis


Quantitative informations analysis would be undertaken by utilizing publicly available Indian Databases such as Census, National Family Health Survey, National Sample Survey, etc.


Chiefly, Census would be used to set up the degree of self-respect as a manifestation of entree to household flat resources ( H2O, lavatories, electricity, proper lodging ) for 1991, 2001 and 2011 at District, State and National Level for Spatial ( Rural/Urban ) and Social ( General/SCs/STs ) categorizations.

Adequate tools and statistical exercisings would be used to set up associations and causings so as to understand what successfully drove entree in certain parts of the state, what kind of conditions caused in-access in others and the comparative potency of assorted schemes.

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Datas from other databases and Reserve Bank of India’s publications would be used to carry on the 2nd degree of analysis by looking at States of India as units and set up relationships between entree and economic indexs such as Social Sector Expenditure of States, Per Capita State Domestic Product, Density of Roads, Gross saless Tax Collections, Commercial Electricity Connections and Number of Brank Branches, et Al. These economic indexs would be proxy indexs for economic public presentation of the State Governments and incursion of markets and would be used maintaining in head the rural and urban derived functions. Relationships to the agreement of ‘X % of _____ ( say, growing ) leads to Y % alteration in Access to Amenities’ would be developed.

In add-on to looking at the differential public presentations of assorted societal groups, an index of favoritism would be created.

Fiscal Modeling

Furthermore, fiscal modeling would be undertaken to measure the financess required to guarantee entree to every family. Policy costs, agreeableness wise, would be estimated. Researcher’s background in Finance would enable her to transport this out.


Microsoft Excel, DIVA GIS and STATA would be used to analyze informations. Researcher’s preparation in Data Analysis Techniques as portion of her Master’s grade would assist her in carry oning such an analysis. Furthermore, this proposal takes on from the Researcher’s M.A Dissertation on Materialisation of Entitlements, thereby supplying a ready base, from which an even more luxuriant survey can be undertaken.

Qualitative Analysis

Political Analysis

For political logical thinking, political governments would be analysed from the period of 1991-2011 in order to determine the comparative public presentations of national-level parties, regional parties and caste-based parties. Additionally, left of Centre and right of centre sets would be analysed to understand which dispositions translate into self-respect and better entree for citizens.

Ethnographic Analysis

To locate macro informations and set it into context and dig into the socio-political procedures which translate entitlements into self-respect, an ethnographic analysis would be undertaken in the best acting territory and worst executing territory, every bit far as entree is concerned. The ethnographic analysis would non merely help in associating the theoretical sense of self-respect and indignity to the existent sense of what people feel, but would besides help in understanding internalization and realization of self-respect, as dictated by contextual elements. Additionally, it would be important in developing and formalizing the model for looking at the niceties of the relationships between self-respect, entitlements and socio-political procedures.

Policy Deductions

Once the quantitative and qualitative analyses are over, the policy deductions of the full exercising would be looked into, in order to get at a model for developing shame cogent evidence and self-respect heightening policies.

Existing Scholarly Publications


Beitz, C. ( 2013 ) ,Human Dignity in the Theory of Human Rights: Nothing But a Phrase?, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp. 259–290

Chaparro, A. ( 2013 ) ,Confirming Dignity: Expressive Actions and Moral Wrongs

Guru, G. ( Ed ) ( 2009 ) ,Humiliation, Oxford University Press

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Hughes, G. ( 2011 ) ,The Concept of Dignity in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,The Journal of Religious Ethics, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 1-24

Iglesias, T. ( 2001 ) ,Bedrock Truths and the Dignity of the Individual,Sons: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, pp 111–134

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Kateb, G. ( 2011 ) ,Human Dignity,Harvard University Press

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Empirical Research, Methodology Delineation and Selection of Proxy Indexs

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[ 1 ] Dworkin, R. ( 1977 ) ,Taking Rights Seriously,Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1977, pp.198–199

Kateb, G. ( 2011 ) ,Human Dignity,Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp 1

[ 2 ] Misztal, B. ( 2012 ) , The Idea of Dignity: Its Modern Significance, European Journal of Social Theory, 16 ( 1 ) , pp 101–121

[ 3 ] Amartya Sen ( 1999 ) has been at the head of the rational motion, rooting for every individual’s entitlement to a certain quality of life and self-respect, through his capableness theory. Nussbaum ( 2006 ) develops this thought of capableness theory further and instates that ‘all human existences ought to admit and esteem the entitlement of others to populate lives commensurate with human dignity’ . Therefore, both the capableness theorists set up self-respect as an entitlement.

[ 4 ] For Sen, a person’s exchange entitlement, given his ownership package is dictated by:

  • Whether he can happen an employment, and if so for how long and at what pay rate
  • What he can gain by selling his non-labour assets, and how much it costs him to purchase whatever he may wish to purchase
  • What he can bring forth with his ain labor power and resources ( or resource services ) he can purchase and pull off
  • The cost of buying resources ( or resource services ) and the value of the merchandises he can sell
  • The societal security benefits he is entitled to and the revenue enhancements, etc. he must pay

A careful consideration of all these leads us to a decision that exchange entitlement can either be created by the market or the State.