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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: June 2019

4 - Human Rights in the Vernacular

from Part I - Genealogies and Contexts

Summary

This chapter argues for the idea of collective rights with which a people endow themselves in the face of political crises, as opposed to the more popular concept of human rights which is to be given by (often hostile) states to individuals, at the urging of international organizations. Citing examples such as those of the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico and the people of Palestine, the author sheds light on the political rewards in the translation of the rights of the individual to collective rights. The latter kind has the advantage of having evolved from cultural specificities, as opposed to the more conventional idea of transcendent human rights. They are more in tune with material realities as well as unobligated to universal standards and forms.

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