Radical Philosophy of Rights
In advanced western societies, human rights have mutated, expanded and turned into a vernacular touching every aspect of social life. They are seen as the key concept of morals and politics, as well as in the forging of individual and collective identities. They are the ideology after ‘the end of ideologies’ – the only values left after ‘the end of history’. But although rights appear as the only game in town, the response of the left to the rights revolution has been muted and unsure. Classical Marxist critiques of (natural) rights have made the left justly suspicious, and this is still the case today. Elaborating and addressing a series of foundational paradoxes of rights, this book – the third in Costas Douzinas’ human rights trilogy, following The End of Human Rights and Human Rights and Empire – provides a long overdue re-evaluation of the history and political uses of rights for the left. Its alternative approach to legal philosophy will be of considerable value to legal theorists, political philosophers and anyone with an interest in thinking and acting in ways that go beyond the limits of liberal, and neo-liberal, ideology.