On a Radical Politics for Human Rights
Illan Rua Wall
University of Warwick - School of Law
May 1, 2013
This chapter addresses the radical potential of human rights. It sketches the contours of the idea of ‘righting’, which is the resistant excess of human rights. Righting describes the situation where groups exceed the rights that are given to them in order to reconstruct the ‘institution of society’. However, simply insisting upon the excess of human rights, in a philosophical sense, is not enough. It is necessary to begin to think about how righting engages with law in order to generate such ruptural moments. The chapter looks to conceptions of critical legal strategy and constituent power to develop a vocabulary of righting. It argues that righting may entail the use of existent rights or the generation of new ones. However, the question is ultimately not about the preservation of a fetishized body of rights, but of unlocking the radical potential which lies within rights discourse.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 14
Keywords: human rights, radical philosophy, autogestion, constituent power, the political, righting, critical legal theory, legal strategy
Date posted: May 2, 2013