Global Issues and Perspectives

A norm is an expected way of behavior of the members of a certain group of people. Reciprocal norms denote that positive norms ought to be responded by positive actions. Sovereignty presents an ideal example of the reciprocal norm. That is, all states agree that an ideal world is the one, in which states do not attack each other. All sovereign countries have hegemony but they are not equal in it; if the USA is hegemony, then if they violate a norm, no one is to do the same. Iran, for instance, views the US as hegemony; thus the US is a source of both good and bad things to them. Therefore, all sovereign states should respect one another. All in all, there are two types of reciprocal norms today, one-to-one reciprocity and generalized reciprocity.

The one-to-one reciprocity is being abused in the world nowadays. Many countries have violated the rule of sovereignty while they themselves have hegemony.  For instance, in countries of Africa and Asia there is a belief that female circumcision is morally right just like male circumcision. In today’s world, female genital mutilations are a challenge of local traditions to the concept of human rights. According to human rights convention, genital mutilation is unacceptable and it diminishes human life.

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International law stipulates that kind of freedom to manifest one’s religion or belief might be subject to limitations. This contradicts the one-to-one reciprocal norm, which states that we ought to obey and respect one’s convictions and cultures. There is also a violation of one–to-one reciprocity in the belief and spirit of culture primacy, which states that members of the same culture scattered in different states may join into a new state. Many western countries are against this they suggest the formation of the unified United States.

Synthesis is also inconsistent with the one-to-one reciprocal norm. It is believed that a superior culture should prevail and displace all variations of the inferior type. In other words, this is the process of making one group dominant while destroying the minority group. As it has been abovementioned, the one-to-one reciprocal norm is being destroyed in today’s world. An upper hand was given to the generalized reciprocal norm. For example, the western world has sanctioned the African states to abolish female genital mutilation, which can be a risk of losing their support. 

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