Human Rights and Social Movements
A study that champions social movements as influential agents in shaping our conceptions of human rights
It argues that human rights cannot be understood outside of the context of social movement struggles. It explains how much of the literature on human rights has systematically obscured this link, consequently distorting our understandings of human rights.
Neil Stammers shows how human rights can be understood. He suggests that what he calls the 'paradox of institutionalisation' can only be addressed through a recognition of the importance of human rights arising out of grassroots activism, and through processes of institutional democratisation.
Neil Stammers is Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Social Sciences and Cultural Studies, University of Sussex. He is the author of Human Rights and Social Movements (Pluto, 2009), and co-editor of Global Activism, Global Media (Pluto, 2005).
'A lively, provocative and insightful discussion of human rights and social movements that goes to the heart of what human rights are, what they are not, and what we might aspire for them to be' - Professor Richard A. Wilson, Director, Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut
'Explores the difficult relationship between human rights and social movement activist practices.' - Upendra Baxi, Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Warwick.
List of Figures
1. Getting Beyond the Hall of Mirrors
2. The 'Sociality' Of Natural Rights
3. The Lost Nineteenth Century
4. The Paradox of Institutionalisation
5. New Movements? Old Wrongs?
6. Expressive and Instrumental Dimensions of Movement Activism
7. Analyses of Globalisation and Human Rights
8. Renewing the Challenge to Power
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