3Ds: dignity, democracy and development as foci for local and global governance

Dignity, Democracy and Development have been key demands in popular political protests around the world. The concept of dignity is a catch-all demand for multiple human rights’ needs, including democracy and development, particularly in the global South. First, the paper surveys a multitude of scholarly works in social studies on the politics and instrumentalisation of dignity. Then, the paper presents the findings of a 2017 global survey on understandings of dignity laying down the foundation for a new index of dignity. The key argument in this study is that the concept of dignity is a valuable tool for policy-makers to make sense of communities’ needs in terms of development, peace-building, and other measurement for well-being. Ultimately, this research lays the foundation for a companion interface to map understandings of the concept of dignity from all over the world in order to grasp their differences and similarities for a variety of people and in a global context.