Download Agamben and the Politics of Human Rights: Statelessness, by John Lechte PDF

By John Lechte

ISBN-10: 0748645721

ISBN-13: 9780748645725

Can human rights safeguard the stateless? Or are they completely excluded from politics and condemned to "bare life"?Human rights are in predicament at the present time. all over the place one appears to be like, there's violence, deprivation, and oppression, which human rights norms appear powerless to avoid. This ebook investigates the roots of the present hindrance in the course of the considered Italian thinker, Giorgio Agamben. Human rights idea and perform needs to come to grips with key difficulties pointed out through Agamben - the violence of the sovereign country of exception and the relief of humanity to 'bare' lifestyles. Any renewal of human rights at the present time needs to contain breaking decisively with the normal coordinates of Western political notion and in its place verify a brand new figuring out of existence and political motion.

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Additional resources for Agamben and the Politics of Human Rights: Statelessness, Images, Violence

Example text

It for instance, Elspeth Guild is correct in her contention that 'refugees are neither victims nor Homo Sacer; they are struggling for their rights' (2010: 25), we need to better understand the ontological basis of this struggle for rights. If we want to insist on an understanding of human rights which transcends the idea of particular political communities, then how can these human rights be enforced in the absence of adequate international mechanisms of enforcement? Moreover, if we are to defend the idea of universai human rights - or rights that transcend the particularities of nation -states - and if we are aiso to insist on a conception of humanity that is always already politically valid, then this raises the challenge of thinking the human and community entirely differently.

However, given the current legal emphasis, it seems to be stretching things in the extreme to argue that, in fact, the origins of human rights go back to Greece and Rome. Moreover, if it is judged that the legal basis of rights fails to evoke the full sense in which rights violations need to be prevented, such a genealogy is demonstrably inadequate. For it equates the evolution and emergence of the nation -state, most notably in the nineteenth century, with the emergence of the protection of human rights - a view which sets out to prove what is already accepted as true.

For both of them, the solution to the problem is essentially prior to the realisation of freedom. Where they differ is simply with regard to the way that this problem is solved. It is not, therefore, just a matter of whether· or not Aristotle sought to confirm the superiority of one class over another, but of recognising the lowly status that work ha d, insofar as it was associated with pure survival (zoë). In the Western tradition, su ch work has always been denigrated, so that those societies which were thought to have to devote all their energies to producinglfinding enough to enable 'bare life' (' subsistence' societies) have always been ranked low on the world hierarchy, where it has been a matter of 'First World' nations versus 'Fourth World' nations, now called 'developed' and developing' nations, respectively.

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Agamben and the Politics of Human Rights: Statelessness, Images, Violence by John Lechte

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