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The human rights project and the transformation of social (B)orders: On the political nature of human rights activism in the wake of the Zapatista uprising

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Richard Georgi
Publicerad i International Journal of Human Rights
Volym 21
Nummer/häfte 3
Sidor 270-288
ISSN 1364-2987
Publiceringsår 2017
Publicerad vid Institutionen för globala studier
Sidor 270-288
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1080/13642987.2017.12...
Ämnesord Conflict transformation, Human rights activism, Human rights state, Politics of human rights, Post-colonial theory, Securitisation, Zapatista
Ämneskategorier Globaliseringsstudier

Sammanfattning

Benjamin Gregg proposes the normative ideal of the human rights state as a means towards advancing his vision of the human rights project that locates the validity of human rights in their addressees. Reviewing the prerequisites for participating in the human rights state in the context of post-colonial societies, I argue that the human rights project requires a profound transformation of the social order towards an inclusive, rights-based system that empowers subaltern communities to author and claim their own human rights. Yet, I will show as with respect to the marginalisation of indigenous communities and the Zapatista uprising in Mexico that social transformation in the name of human rights is politically contested and not intrinsically inclusive and reconciling. Human rights activists apply securitising strategies that mobilise support by invoking a threatening Other and reinforcing social antagonisms, but also rely on de-securitising strategies to forge alliance across social borders. Drawing on Ernesto Laclau’s theory of the split between politics and the political, I will argue for integrating into the human rights state framework a theoretical perspective that grasps the political nature of human rights activism and its consequences in conflicts. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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