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On Pain and The Sense of Human Rights

Illan Rua Wall

University of Warwick - School of Law

December 1, 2008

Australian Feminist Law Journal, Vol. 29, 2008

Human rights law inscribes a relation between the political and suffering. This relation is twofold, it facilitates the radical aspect of human rights’ struggle against domination, but at the same time seems to reduce the human rights horizon to the short-term philantropism of humanitarianism. We will argue that this twofold structure is crucial to understanding human rights. We can begin to imagine a different, non-metaphysical, human rights through thinking a different concept of suffering with emphasis on ‘sense’ and ‘vulnerability’. This article is an attempt to think a future of human rights, a future which is not determined by possessive individualism and the closure of the subject.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 24

Keywords: human rights, sense, pain, suffering, vulnerability, Jean-Luc Nancy, right-ing

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Date posted: July 11, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Wall, Illan Rua, On Pain and The Sense of Human Rights (December 1, 2008). Australian Feminist Law Journal, Vol. 29, 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1431898

Contact Information

Illan Rua Wall (Contact Author)
University of Warwick - School of Law ( email )
Gibbet Hill Road
Coventry CV4 7AL, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

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