The Fundamental Rights of States in Neoliberal Times
(2015)  4(3) Cambridge Journal of International & Comparative Law 461
6 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2016 Last revised: 7 Sep 2016
Date Written: March 30, 2016
This is a critical introduction to the symposium on “The Fundamental Rights of States”. Whether such rights exist, the bounds of their existence, or whether they ought to be striven towards are questions of considerable import in the wake of the Greek sovereign debt crisis or even given the ongoing Palestinian struggle for permanent sovereignty over their natural resources. I briefly outline how we might consider the question: is there any progressive political value in buttressing the state and its autonomy, through the doctrine of fundamental rights, in today's neoliberal world? First, I examine how we may progressively look at fundamental rights - as doctrine, narrative, memory or discourse. Second, I question the extent to which it is useful to see competing subjectivities, i.e. the maligned state against technocratic institutions, in a time where neoliberal logic has come to structure the workings of the state. It becomes quickly apparent that the discourse of fundamental rights may be used to both resist neoliberalism and enable it.
Keywords: Fundamental Rights, State, State autonomy, Neoliberalism, Resistance
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation