The Past Can't Heal Us: The Dangers of Mandating Memory in the Name of Human Rights

The Past Can't Heal Us: The Dangers of Mandating Memory in the Name of Human Rights

by Lea David

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Overview

In this innovative study, Lea David critically investigates the relationship between human rights and memory, suggesting that, instead of understanding human rights in a normative fashion, human rights should be treated as an ideology. Conceptualizing human rights as an ideology gives us useful theoretical and methodological tools to recognize the real impact human rights has on the ground. David traces the rise of the global phenomenon that is the human rights memorialization agenda, termed 'Moral Remembrance', and explores what happens once this agenda becomes implemented. Based on evidence from the Western Balkans and Israel/Palestine, she argues that the human rights memorialization agenda does not lead to a better appreciation of human rights but, contrary to what would be expected, it merely serves to strengthen national sentiments, divisions and animosities along ethnic lines, and leads to the new forms of societal inequalities that are closely connected to different forms of corruptions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781108495189
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 07/16/2020
Series: Human Rights in History
Pages: 300
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

Lea David is Assistant Professor and Ad Astra Fellow at the School of Sociology, University College Dublin. She has held the prestigious Fulbright, Jonathan Shapira and Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowships and established the Critical Thinking on Memory and Human Rights Research Group.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Human rights as an ideology? Obstacles and benefits; 3. What Is moral remembrance?; 4. The institutionalization of moral remembrance: the case study of Palestine and Israel; 5. The institutionalization of moral remembrance: the case study of Western Balkans; 6. Human rights, memory and micro-solidarity; 7. Mandating memory, mandating conflicts.

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