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O'Connell, Paul (2018) 'On the Human Rights Question.' Human Rights Quarterly, 40 (4). pp. 962-988.

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Abstract

There is a marked disjuncture today between the generalized critique and rejection of human rights by many progressive and critical commentators, and the embrace of the language of human rights by a variety of movements around the world engaged in struggles for social change. This divide between critical theory and critical practice raises important questions about whether and how movements for fundamental social change should engage with human rights. In contrast to a number of well-established critical dismissals of rights, this article argues, from within the Marxist tradition, that human rights can, and in some cases should, be deployed by social movements in their campaigns. However, reaching this conclusion requires developing an understanding of human rights that gives primacy to social struggle and to a nuanced understanding of the contradictory nature of human rights.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Law
School Research Centres > Centre for Human Rights Law
ISSN: 02750392
Copyright Statement: © 2018 Johns Hopkins University Press. This is the accepted version of an article published by John Hopkins University Press in Human Rights Quarterly: https://doi.org/10.1353/hrq.2018.0051
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.1353/hrq.2018.0051
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2017 10:25
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/24788

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