Tag: Human Rights

Dissensus, the Right to Education & A New Latin American Student Movement

Recently, there have been the rumblings of an emergent pan-Latin American student movement. Crucially, this potential movement coheres around the demand for a right to education. In Colombia and Chile a new front is being fought against the creation and maintenance of private education and the implicit commodification of learning. However, this emergent trans-continental rights-demand…

Libyan War and Revolution – Unity & Multiplicity

The war that has been escalated in Libya over the last week is not the same as the revolt that gripped the country months ago. Even today in Benghazi there are two orders – war and revolt – at work, but the logic of war is destroying the multiplicity of a revolution. In this sense,…

Reanimating Human Rights

It seems that the discussion over intervention in Libya and revolutions in Arab countries is over. In the midst of discussion over legality or righteousness of the intervention in Libya, the problem of the victims of the situation that lead to the intervention (and earlier to the uprising) seems to disappear. Arguments are concentrated around…

The Suppression of the Arab Spring in Syria

Syria video released by Amnesty International “Images of unarmed civilians shot in the head help explain why there have been so many fatalities. Together with footage of soldiers celebrating deaths, they document what appears to be a ‘shoot to kill’ policy,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “Other…

Human Rights for Corporations: The Death of Democracy?

Miraculous you call it babe You ain’t seen nothing yet They’ve got Pepsi in the Andes McDonalds in Tibet (Roger Waters, Amused to Death) In the case of Citizens United v Federal Election Commission 130 S.Ct. 876 (2010) the United States Supreme Court, its highest jurisprudential authority, recognised corporations as persons with human rights, over-ruling…

The Europe to come

This Mediterranean to come is not some fu­ture utopia; it is hap­pening here and now.Jürgen Habermas and Ulrich Beck enthused about the European model and prophesied its exportation to the world. Many were the successes of the Union, they claimed.1 Old nationalisms and xenophobias had been left behind, former enemies collaborated in peaceful competition creating…

Charter 08

Charter 08 was written by China’s Human Rights Defenders including Nobel Peace Prize Winner Liu Xiaobo. A hundred years have passed since the writing of China’s first constitution. 2008 also marks the sixtieth anniversary of the promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the thirtieth anniversary of the appearance of the Democracy Wall in…

For a Humanities of Resistance

I first realised that there is something strange about the term ‘Humanities’ when as the Director of my University’s Humanities Institute I participated at a meeting to set up a European Consortium of Humanities Centres. Except for the host centre in Utrecht and mine no other participating European University had a Humanities Institute.  The other…

Adikia: On Communism and Rights

1.  Back in the Eighties and Nineties, Marxist intellectuals, shaken by the Gulag revelations and the collapse of the communist states, started welcoming human rights. Claude Lefort, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Etienne Balibar and Jacques Rancière1 amongst others participated in this move. It coincided with the ‘end of history’ bragging of liberal capitalists and the revisionist histories…

Should Liu Xiaobo have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize?

On 8 October 2010, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese ‘dissident’ who was found guilty by a Chinese court in 2009 of subversion in respect of his (non-violent) activities relating to Charter 08, a document calling for far-reaching political reforms, and sentenced to 11 years in jail. Worthy as he…

Human Rights and the Crisis of Modernity

‘Truth’ emerges when a victim, from his present catastrophic position, gains a sudden insight into the entire past as a series of catastrophes that led to his current predicament. (Walter Benjamin) The horrors of the Second World War and, in particular, the ‘real hell’ of Auschwitz’, are usually seen as the background from which the…

Rescuing Human Rights?

Natural and human rights were conceived as a tool against the despotism of power and the arrogance of wealth. Their co-option by governments means that they have lost much of their critical force and their initial aim and role has been reversed. (Douzinas, 2007: 24). As my dear blog-partner knows well, to err is human.…