Boele van Hensbroek, Pieter (2007). "Capabilities to change ideas and history: cultural liberties for a global democratisation of memory" Paper presented at the 4th annual conference of the HDCA, 18-20 September 2007, New York, USA.

In this model, we think of the great emancipatory ideas of freedom, democracy, human rights, or citizenship, we perceive these ideas as engaged in a struggle with older ideas that belong to less free societies, and imagine a gradual spreading of the emancipatory ideas, becoming rooted in peopleís political imagination and in relevant institutions which regulate the political, juridical and public spheres of societies.There are at least two aspects of this model which need questioning. First, what is exactly the nature and status of these great ideas? What is their exact meaning? Do they have relevance irrespective of place and societal context? Do they have a kind of superhistorical status as inventions of mankind, and if so, does that imply that they command automatic normative authority? The second point to be questioned is how we should understand this intuition of ideas spreading by taking hold of the imagination of people who were thinking differently before.