Human Rights and the Borders of Suffering: The Promotion of Human Rights in International Politics

Overview

This book argues for greater openness in the ways we approach human rights and international rights promotion, and in so doing brings some new understandings to old debates. Starting with the realities of abuse rather than the liberal architectures of rights, it casts human rights as a language for probing the political dimensions of suffering. Seen in this context, the predominant Western models of rights generate a substantial but also problematic and not always emancipatory array of practices. These models are...

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Overview

This book argues for greater openness in the ways we approach human rights and international rights promotion, and in so doing brings some new understandings to old debates. Starting with the realities of abuse rather than the liberal architectures of rights, it casts human rights as a language for probing the political dimensions of suffering. Seen in this context, the predominant Western models of rights generate a substantial but also problematic and not always emancipatory array of practices. These models are far from answering the questions about the nature of political community that are raised by the systemic infliction of suffering. Rather than a simple message from 'us' to 'them', then, rights promotion is a long and difficult conversation about the relationship between political organisation and suffering.

Three case studies are explored - the Tiananmen Square massacre, East Timor's violent modern history and the circumstances of Indigenous Australians. The purpose of these discussions is not to elaborate a new theory of rights, but to work towards rights practices that are more responsive to the spectrum of injury that we inflict and endure.

This book is a valuable and innovative contribution to rights debates for students of international politics, political theory, and conflict resolution, as well as for those engaged in the pursuit of human rights.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

M. Anne Brown is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Queensland where she is part of an interdisciplinary team working on emerging issues in conflict resolution.

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Table of Contents

Preface
I The Question of Human Rights 1
1 Opening up conceptions of rights 3
2 The construction of human rights: dominant approaches 19
3 The pursuit of grounds 55
II Case Studies 89
4 China - the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 93
5 East Timor 128
6 The status of Indigenous Australians 162
7 Conclusion 198
References 212
Index 221
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