Human rights as cultural practices

Authored by: Fuyuki Kurasawa

Handbook of Human Rights

Print publication date:  September  2011
Online publication date:  February  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415480239
eBook ISBN: 9780203887035
Adobe ISBN: 9781134019083


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Discussions of human rights in the social sciences today are dominated by a formalist approach that understands these rights as legally institutionalized norms – as the implementation of abstract principles and the products of official institutions (namely, states and international organizations) prescribing and granting them from above to persons and groups. As a result, human rights are analytically juridified, the legal-institutional inscription of socio-economic and civil–political rights (in national and supranational constitutions, multilateral treaties, etc.) overshadowing their cultural grounding and enactment by subjects imbedded in concrete lifeworlds.

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