By Seyla Benhabib
The language of human rights has develop into the general public vocabulary of our modern international. mockingly, because the political impression of human rights has grown, their philosophical justification has turn into ever extra controversial.
Building on a conception of discourse ethics and communicative rationality, this booklet addresses the politics and philosophy of human rights opposed to the heritage of the wider social differences which are shaping the fashionable international. Rejecting the aid of foreign human rights to the computer virus of a neo-liberal empire's bid for global strength, in addition to the conservative objections to felony cosmopolitanism as encroachments upon democratic sovereignty, Benhabib develops key techniques to maneuver past those fake antitheses. overseas human rights norms desire contextualization in particular polities via tactics of what she calls 'democratic iterations.' moreover, such norms have a 'jurisgenerative power,' in that they allow new actors to go into fields of social and political contestation; they advertise new vocabularies for public claim-making and expect a justice to come.
Ranging over topics akin to sovereignty, citizenship, genocide, eu anti-semitism, the concern of the geographical region, and the 'scarf affair' in modern Europe and Turkey, this significant new publication via one among our best political theorists displays upon the political changes of our occasions and makes a compelling case for a cosmopolitanism with no illusions.
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Extra resources for Dignity in Adversity: Human Rights in Troubled Times
For Arendt, the economic position of the Jews gave them a " supra-national" and "proto� cosmopolitan" existence, which at one and the same time called forth and belied the universal belief in "the rights of man. " The Jews seemed to represent "human rights as such. " Yet, at the same time, their problematic position within the nation also evidenced the vul nerability to which they were subject in virtue of not clearly belonging to a collectivity which would stand up for them. This is why, for Arendt, as well as for Theodor Herzl, the Dreyfus case was so sig nificant.
1 In 1939, he fled from Poland and reached Stockholm, where he continued to do extensive research on Nazi occupation laws throughout Europe. On April 1 8, 1 94 1 , he arrived in the United States via Japan. That very same year, Arendt and her second husband, Heinrich Blucher, arrived in New York via Portugal. Yet, in contrast to Arendt, who acquired worldwide fame after her arrival in the USA with her many works and university appointments, Lemkin, after the general acclaim he received with the passage of the Genocide Convention by the United Nations in 1948, fell into obscu rity and died a lonely death, destitute and neglected in New York in 1 959.
One of the Notes appended to the text, "The Interest in the Body, " announces this new orientation: Beneath the familiar history of Europe runs another, subterranean one. It consists of the fate of those human instincts and passions repressed and displaced by civilization. 20 The story of Odysseus and the Holocaust act almost as bookends to this self-destructive dynamic of the Enlightenment: the myth which is Enlightenment and the Enlightenment which becomes myth through Nazi propaganda. We witness the birth of Western civilization and its transformation into barbarism.
Dignity in Adversity: Human Rights in Troubled Times by Seyla Benhabib