What's Wrong with Rights?
Social Movements, Law and Liberal Imaginations
Social movements demand rights to remedy wrongs and injustices in society. But why do organisations like the World Bank and IMF, the G7 states and the World Economic Forum want to promote rights? Activists and activist scholars are critical of human rights in their diagnosis of problems. But in their prognosis, they reinstate human rights and bring back through the backdoor what they dismiss through the front.
Why are activists and activist scholars unable to 'let go' of human rights? Why do indigenous peoples find the need to invoke the UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous People to make their claims sound reasonable? Are rights in the 20th and 21st centuries the same as rights in the 17th and 18th centuries?
This book examines what is entailed in reducing rights to 'human' rights and in the argument 'our understandings of rights are better than theirs' that is popular within social movements and in critical scholarship.
Radha D'Souza teaches law at the University of Westminster, London. She is a social justice activist, a writer, critic and commentator. She is author of What's Wrong with Rights? (Pluto, 2018) and Interstate Disputes Over Krishna Waters (Orient Longman, 2006) and works with the Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC) in the UK.
Part I: The Rights Resurgence
1. Social Movements, Law and Liberal Imaginations
2. What’s Wrong With Rights?
3. Rights in the ‘Epoch of Imperialism’
Part II: Re-Scripting Rights
4. International Election Monitoring: From ‘Will of the People’ to the ‘Right to Free and Fair Elections’
5. The Rights of Victims: From Authorisation to Accountability
6. Intangible Property Rights: The IMF as Underwriters
7. Rights in International Neoliberal Risk-Governance Regime
Part III: Concluding Reflections
8. Rights and Social Movements in the ‘Epoch of Imperialism'
Hardcover ISBN: 9780745335407
eBook ISBN: 9781783717279
135mm x 215mm