Why We Have to Rethink the Way We Talk About Human Rights

Recently, I read two journal articles that took a closer look at some of the less ideal sides of human rights, one by wa Makau Mutua from 1996, and one by Sally Engle Merry from 2003, and I believe both of them are still relevant today.

In the end, the existence of human rights is a cause to celebrate, but that does not mean that they are perfect, or that we should not try to constantly improve how we implement them and use them to shape the world.

You can access the readings here:

Mutua, wa Makau (1995-1996). ‘The Ideology of Human Rights’, Virginia Journal of International Law 36, pp. 589-657, to be downloaded at: http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?page=589&handle=hein.journals%2Fvajint36&collection=jour nals

Merry, Sally Engle (2003) ‘Human rights law and the demonization of culture (and anthropology along the way)’, Political and Legal Anthropology Review 26(1), pp. 55 -76, to be downloaded at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1525/pol.2003.26.1.55/abstract


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