Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1525547
 
 

Citations (11)



 


 



Savages, Victims, and Saviors: The Metaphor of Human Rights


Makau W. Mutua


State University of New York at Buffalo Law School

2001

Harvard International Law Journal, Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 201-245, 2001

Abstract:     
This article critically looks at the human rights project as a damning three-dimensional metaphor that exposes multiple complexes. It argues that the grand narrative of human rights contains a subtext which depicts an epochal contest pitting savages, on the one hand, against victims and saviors, on the other. The savages-victims-saviors (SVS) construction lays bare some of the hypocrisies of the human rights project and asks human rights thinkers and advocates to become more self-reflective. The piece questions the universality and cultural neutrality of the human rights project. It calls for the construction of a truly universal human rights corpus, one that is multicultural, inclusive, and deeply political.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 46

Keywords: Savages, victims, saviors, metaphor, culture. Non-Western, ideology, barbarism, liberalism

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Date posted: December 19, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Mutua, Makau W., Savages, Victims, and Saviors: The Metaphor of Human Rights (2001). Harvard International Law Journal, Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 201-245, 2001. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1525547

Contact Information

Makau Mutua (Contact Author)
State University of New York at Buffalo Law School ( email )
319 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
United States

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