Critical Perspectives on Human Rights provides cutting-edge interventions into contemporary perspectives on rights, ethics and global justice. The chapters, written by leading scholars in the field, make a significant and timely contribution to critical human rights scholarship by interrogating the significance of human rights for critical theory and practice. While the contributions engage sensitively yet thoroughly with the regulatory, disciplinary, and exclusionary effects of human rights, they do so without giving up on the transformative potential of human rights. By thinking productively through the exclusions, paradoxes and aporias of human rights, Critical Perspectives on Human Rights is a key reference text for students and scholars in this important area of inquiry.
Introduction, Birgit Schippers
Part I: Troubling Human Rights
1 Language and Freedom in Critiques of Human Rights, Rachel Wahl
2 Human Rights Trouble? Judith Butler and the Performative Refusal of Human Rights, Ben Golder
3 Rethinking the Human in Human Rights, Moya Lloyd
4 Towards a Posthumanist Conception of Human Rights, Birgit Schippers
Part II: Practicing Human Rights
5 Practice, Justification and Queer: Human Rights meets Sexuality and Gender Diversity, Anthony J. Langlois
6 Human Dignity and Human Rights: Lessons from the Fight for Marriage Equality in the United States, Karen Zivi
7 The Political Movement for a Human Right to the City, Joe Hoover
8 Peasant Activism and the Ambiguity of Human Rights, Robin Dunford
Part III: The Geopolitics of Human Rights
9 Eurocentric and Third-World Histories of Human Rights: Critique, Recognition and Dialogue, José-Manuel Barreto
10 Critical Theory, Sociology, and Human Rights, Mark Frezzo
11 Borders of Human Rights: Territorial Sovereignty and the Precarious Personhood of Migrants, Ayten Gündoğdu
Afterword: Situating Human Rights in the Postpolitical Landscape, Upendra Baxi
Notes on Contributors
This outstanding collection of critical essays about human rights, beautifully curated by Birgit Schippers, is a must-read both within the field and across the disciplines. Among other things, the essays are animated by an interest in forms of activism and contestation that transcend minimalism and moralism in the face of the rising crises of our time.
There is a rich critical literature interrogating the rights of human rights. What distinguishes this collection is the additional attention directed at the figure of the human, and the willingness to trouble this. This makes for an often exhilarating read.
Birgit Schippers is Senior Lecturer in Politics at St Mary’s University College Belfast.