After Evil: A Politics of Human Rights

After Evil: A Politics of Human Rights

by Robert Meister
     
 

The way in which mainstream human rights discourse speaks of such evils as the Holocaust, slavery, or apartheid puts them solidly in the past. Its elaborate techniques of "transitional" justice encourage future generations to move forward by creating a false assumption of closure, enabling those who are guilty to elude responsibility. This approach to history,

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Overview

The way in which mainstream human rights discourse speaks of such evils as the Holocaust, slavery, or apartheid puts them solidly in the past. Its elaborate techniques of "transitional" justice encourage future generations to move forward by creating a false assumption of closure, enabling those who are guilty to elude responsibility. This approach to history, common to late-twentieth-century humanitarianism, doesn't presuppose that evil ends when justice begins. Rather, it assumes that a time before justice is the moment to put evil in the past.

Merging examples from literature and history, Robert Meister confronts the problem of closure and the resolution of historical injustice. He boldly challenges the empty moral logic of "never again" or the theoretical reduction of evil to a cycle of violence and counterviolence, broken only once evil is remembered for what it was. Meister criticizes such methods for their deferral of justice and susceptibility to exploitation and elaborates the flawed moral logic of "never again" in relation to Auschwitz and its evolution into a twenty-first-century doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect.

Columbia University Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231150378
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
11/06/2012
Series:
Columbia Studies in Political Thought / Political History Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
544
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Preface: My TaskIntroduction: Disavowing Evil1. The Ideology and Ethics of Human Rights2. Ways of Winning3. Living On4. The Dialectic of Race and Place5. "Never Again"6. Still the Jewish Question?7. Bystanders and Victims8. Adverse Possession9. States of "Emergency"10. Surviving CatastropheConclusion: Justice in TimeAcknowledgmentsNotesReferencesIndex

Columbia University Press

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