Costas Douzinas

COSTAS DOUZINAS is a Member of the Hellenic Parliament, a Professor of Law and the Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, University of London. His recent books include The Meaning of Human Rights (co-edited with Conor Gearty, CUP, 2014), The Cambridge Companion to Human Rights Law (co-edited with Conor Gearty, CUP, 2013), Philosophy and Resistance in the Crisis: Greece and the Future of Europe (Polity, 2013), The Idea of Communism (co-edited with Slavoj Žižek, Verso, 2012), and New Critical Legal Thinking: Law and the Political (co-edited with Matthew Stone and Illan rua Wall, Birkbeck Law Press/Routledge, 2012). Douzinas has served as an editor for Law & Critique, his books have been translated into thirteen languages, and he has written extensively for The Guardian, OpenDemocracy, and other global publications.

Seven Theses on Human Rights: (6) Desire

Liberal theories from Immanuel Kant to John Rawls present the self as a solitary and rational entity endowed with natural characteristics and rights and in full control of himself. Rights to life, liberty, and property are presented as integral to humanity’s...

Seven Theses on Human Rights: (5) Depoliticization

Rights form the terrain on which people are distributed into rulers, ruled, and excluded. Power’s mode of operation is revealed, if we observe which people are given or deprived of which rights at which particular place or point in time. In this sense, human rights...

Seven Theses on Human Rights: (1) The Idea of Humanity

Seven Theses on Human Rights: (1) The Idea of Humanity

If ‘humanity’ is the normative source of moral and legal rules, do we know what ‘humanity’ is? Important philosophical and ontological questions are involved here. Let me have a brief look at its history. Pre-modern societies did not develop a comprehensive idea of...

Greece and the Future of Europe

Greece and the Future of Europe

Delivered at The Southern Europe Crisis and Resistances, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, 25 November 2012. Listen to the free podcast. In the summer of 1918, Constantin Cavafy met E. M. Forster in Alexandria. Cavafy compared the Greeks with the English. The two...

Human Rights or a Bill of Rights?

The debate over the future of the Human Rights Act ('HRA') has been somewhat surreal. The Labour position is schizophrenic. Labour introduced the Act but was justifiably accused of violating most of its principles in its obsession with security. But schizophrenia is...