Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Affairs


In the 21st century universalization of Human Rights has appeared as a contested concept. The Savage, Victim, Savior (SVS) metaphor has become a common rhetoric that universalization of human rights has promoted. The savage is represented as a non western nation-state, the victims are portrayed as minorities, women, children etc, and the saviors are usually the western nations or international institutions such as the UN, HRW, Amnesty International. The SVS complex leads to a one-dimensional, incomplete, racist, neo colonial and bias standpoint. It limits our understanding of the actual issue. Ethnic cleansing is an instance where universalization of human rights has limited our understanding. This study will analyze the 1990s ethnic friction between the Lhotshampas and the Drukpas in Bhutan to portray how the SVS metaphor has been used by the Human Rights corpus. The case study portrayed severe flaws related to universalization of Human Rights as it produced reports and notions that demonized the state with an incomplete and extremely lopsided approach. An informed analysis that represents human rights issues from a multidimensional perspective, contributes towards the need for human rights advocates to self reflect in the 21st century.