Basic Human Needs Theory: Beyond Natural Law

  • Richard E. Rubenstein
Part of the The Conflict Series book series


Individual psychology discovers the existence of basic human needs in connection with the search for an explanation of individual pathology.1 Social thought discovers basic needs in the quest for the causes and cures of social disintegrration. “When a basic need is not satisfied,” Johan Galtung has written, “some kind of fundamental disintegration will take place.”2 Galtung identifies two broad categories of social disintegration: “freezing” (lack of participation, apathy, withdrawal) and “boiling” (overactivity, mutiny, revolt).3 Other classifications and metaphors might be more apt, but the essential point remains: what leads us to think about basic needs are the unpleasant consequences of their non-satisfaction.


Human Nature Conflict Resolution Communal Violence Political Violence Political Conflict 
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Notes and References

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Copyright information

© John Burton 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard E. Rubenstein

There are no affiliations available

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