New final year option…. The Reign of Rights in Global Politics. What is the course about?. …human rights are becoming the world’s secular religion (Eli Wiesel). This course systematically interrogates the rise of human rights to such prominence. . What does the course look like?.
New final year option…
The Reign of Rights in Global Politics
What is the course about?
…human rights are becoming the world’s secular religion (Eli Wiesel). This course systematically interrogates the rise of human rights to such prominence.
What does the course look like?
The course combines theory with an interest in empirical cases of rights in global politics. It aims to familiarize students with both, and what’s more, to let students have a choice in what cases we examine.
Part I of the course examines the history and evolution of rights within the history of liberalism and introduces the prominent ways of defining and understanding human rights.
It, then, explores new theorisations of rights as practices of governing and forms of subjectification in global politics.
Moreover, the course discusses well-known critiques of the universality of human rights and their Western-centric conception of the human.
Part II of the course analyses the challenges that rights present to state sovereignty.
It also examines the violent global politics associated with human rights, such as the emergence of human rights wars (Ulrich Beck).
Moreover, it interrogates the more recent, often racist, trade-off between rights and security within the ensemble of practices we call the ‘war on terror’.
Part III of the course investigates the use of rights in our practices of resistance, analyzing how rights incite rights-holders as appropriate political subjectivities (Foucault).
It discusses the expansion of human rights into emergent areas such as women’s rights, indigenous rights, etc
It also explores the ways in which human rights talk becomes the hegemonic register in which to articulate and legitimate social/political action.
Part IV concludes the course by discussing the practical ethico-political problems of the reign of rights and of our own acceptance of this language in global politics.
Do global interventionist practices render human rights the rights of those victims who have no (positive-constitutional) rights (Ranciere)?
Moreover, who can speak on behalf of subaltern others (Alcoff)?
And finally, is the language of rights appropriate for righting historical and current wrongs (Spivak)?
The course aims to encourage students to choose cases and examples that suit their interests – in part III students will help choose the cases we focus on in the workshop.
Want to know what we will be studying week on week?
Human Rights: the History of an Idea
and the Contemporary Consensus on