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Critical theory and human rights

From compassion to coercion

By David McGrogan

Critical theory and human rights
Hardcover

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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3182-9
  • Pages: 280
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: April 2021
  • BIC Category: Social Theory, LAW / International, PHILOSOPHY / Movements / Critical Theory, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Human Rights, Society & social sciences / Political science & theory, Law / International law, Law / International human rights law, Society & social sciences / Human rights
  • Series: Critical Theory and Contemporary Society

Description

This book describes how human rights have given rise to a vision of benevolent governance that, if fully realised, would be antithetical to individual freedom. It describes human rights' evolution into a grand but nebulous project, rooted in compassion, with the overarching aim of improving universal welfare by defining the conditions of human well-being and imposing obligations on the state and other actors to realise them. This gives rise to a form of managerialism, preoccupied with measuring and improving the 'human rights performance' of the state, businesses and so on. The ultimate result is the 'governmentalisation' of a pastoral form of global human rights governance, in which power is exercised for the general good, moulded by a complex regulatory sphere which shapes the field of action for the individual at every turn. This, unsurprisingly, does not appeal to rights-holders themselves.

Contents

Introduction
1 Solipsism and imperialism
2 Between nomos and telos
3 Human rights' directing idea
4 The governmentalisation of global human rights governance
5 Tactics rather than laws
6 Nothing but rejoicing
Conclusion
Index

Author

David McGrogan is Associate Professor of Law at Northumbria Law School

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