Does the apparent victory, universality and ubiquity of the idea of rights indicate that such rights have transcended all conflicts of interests and moved beyond the presumption that it is the clash of ideas that drives culture? Or has the rhetorical triumph of rights not been replicated in reality? The contributors to this book answer these questions in the context of an increasing wealth gap between the metropolitan elites and the rest, a chasm in income and chances between the rich and the poor, and walls which divide the comfortable middle classes from the 'underclass'. Why do these inequalities persist in our supposed human rights-abiding societies? In seeking to address the foundations, genealogies, meaning and impact of rights, this book captures some of the energy, breadth, power and paradoxes that make deployment of the language of human rights such an essential but changeable part of so many of our contemporary discourses.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of pages: 340
Weight: 610 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
'It would be difficult to imagine a more qualified and diverse team of intelligent critics to assess the meaning of human rights in today's 'post-humanist' world. The result of their symposium, however, is a complete redistribution of the game, where the fact of right emerges impossible to discard, precisely because it has become intrinsically problematic.' Etienne Balibar, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Paris-Nanterre, and author of Equaliberty and Violence and Civility
'This splendid volume is a richly philosophical and relentlessly political intervention into contemporary debates about human rights. Each erudite essay illuminates or rethinks both terms constituting this essential if often misused modern instrument of justice and protection.' Wendy Brown, University of California, Berkeley
'In this wide-ranging, thoughtful collection, distinguished scholars across several disciplines shed new light on the familiar topic of human rights by exploring the ambiguities and tensions that structure their social meanings and political implications. The book makes a distinctive and valuable contribution to the field; it should be widely read.' Nicola Lacey, FBA, School Professor of Law, Gender and Social Policy, London School of Economics