Agamben and the Politics of Human Rights: Statelessness, - download pdf or read online

By John Lechte

ISBN-10: 0748645721

ISBN-13: 9780748645725

Can human rights shield the stateless? Or are they completely excluded from politics and condemned to "bare life"?Human rights are in hindrance at the present time. all over one appears, there's violence, deprivation, and oppression, which human rights norms look powerless to avoid. This booklet investigates the roots of the present quandary during the considered Italian thinker, Giorgio Agamben. Human rights thought and perform needs to come to grips with key difficulties pointed out through Agamben - the violence of the sovereign kingdom of exception and the aid of humanity to 'bare' existence. Any renewal of human rights this day needs to contain breaking decisively with the conventional coordinates of Western political notion and in its place verify a brand new figuring out of existence and political motion.

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Extra info for Agamben and the Politics of Human Rights: Statelessness, Images, Violence

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And, as even Arendt herself acknowledges, it is these peoples most of all who should be the beneficiaries of human rights protection. Finaily, as we shall see, the Arendtian and European conception of Athenian society as being essentially structured around the private oikos and public polis is largely ideological. Indeed, most ancient historians would agree (see Finley 1980) that life in ancient Athens was not driven by the Hauswirtsehaft (household economy) and that the economy was also part of the public domain, with, for one thing, slaves being used by the state on various public works.

Generally, what passes for the history of modern human rights focuses on the period after the Second W orld War - on the aftermath of the Nuremberg Trials and on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) confirmed by the United Nations General Assembly (UN GA) in December 1948. Thirty human rights were specified and expressed as a set of abstract moral daims or aspirations. However, while these rights supposedly enshrined the sanctity of individuals, at the same time, they depended upon the goodwill of nation -states to uphold them, thus consigning human rights to a crippling contradiction and an uncertain future.

This was because to not be a citizen, to not be 28 Agamben and the Poli tics of Human Rights a member of a political community, was to be in a position in which one had nothing but one' s humanity to calI upon as a justification for having one' s hum an rights recognised. Arendt points out that the 'Rights of Man', in the absence of citizenship, were, in effect, unenforceable because no one knew precisely what rights someone had who was no longer a member of any sovereign state. This leads to Arendt' s well-known conclusion that only those who are members of a political community (of a public sphere) can have their rights protected.

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


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