Human Rights: Concepts, Contests, Contingencies by Austin Sarat, Thomas R. Kearns

By Austin Sarat, Thomas R. Kearns

Today the language of human rights, if no longer human rights themselves, is sort of common. Human Rights brings jointly essays that attend to either the attract and feedback of human rights. They research contestation and contingency in state-of-the-art human rights politics and aid us reconsider a number of the uncomplicated techniques of human rights. Questions addressed in Human Rights contain: Can nationwide self-determination be reconciled with human rights? Can human rights be complicated with out thwarting efforts to enhance indigenous felony traditions? How are the forces of modernization linked to globalization remodeling our realizing of human dignity and private autonomy? What does it suggest to speak about tradition and cultural selection? Is the security of tradition and cultural selection an incredible price in human rights discourse? How do human rights determine in neighborhood political contests and the way are these contests, in flip, formed by way of the unfold of capitalism and industry values? What contingencies form the implementation of human rights in societies with out a powerful culture of adherence to the rule of thumb of legislation? What are the stipulations less than which human rights claims are complex and lower than which international locations reply to their appeal?

Austin Sarat is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political technology, Amherst collage. Thomas R. Kearns is William H. Hastie Professor of Philosophy and Professor of legislations, Jurisprudence, and Social notion, Amherst College.

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At the start of the twentieth century Durkheim tried to identify a moral discourse that would temper laissez-faire capitalism's celebration of amoral self-interest. Today, Collier suggests, human rights might provide one response to that effort. " But Collier is concerned as much with identifying the role human rights play in contestations at the local level as she is in grand theorizing about human rights. " Collier accepts the view that human rights are Western, but she thinks that in cultural and political contestation at the local level that "it is precisely because moral discourses of human rights and economic discourses of capitalism are both products of the post-Enlightenment West" that the former might effectively be enlisted against the latter.

But Collier is concerned as much with identifying the role human rights play in contestations at the local level as she is in grand theorizing about human rights. " Collier accepts the view that human rights are Western, but she thinks that in cultural and political contestation at the local level that "it is precisely because moral discourses of human rights and economic discourses of capitalism are both products of the post-Enlightenment West" that the former might effectively be enlisted against the latter.

For the moment the discussion focuses on the situation of indigenous people in the Americas and the antipodes. Because of a long and dominative history of settlement, exchange, treaty, conquest, removal, and sometimes recognition, indigenous and nonindigenous peoples are now interrelated in their territories. Webs of economic and communicative exchange, moreover, place the multicultural peoples of a particular region in relations of interdependence with others far away. In such a situation of interdependence, it is difficult for a people to be independent in the sense that they require nothing from outsiders and their activity has no effect on others.

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