On Pain and The Sense of Human Rights
Australian Feminist Law Journal, Vol. 29, 2008
24 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2009
Date Written: December 1, 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.
Keywords: human rights, sense, pain, suffering, vulnerability, Jean-Luc Nancy, right-ing
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