A World in “Small Hands”? Globalization as Risk and Rights

  • Peter Hitchcock
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literature, Culture and Human Rights book series (PSLCHR)


This essay discusses the vexed relations between rights as a protection against risk and risk as a constitutive feature of capitalist globalization. The interpretation of risk across these fields of interest is certainly not synonymous or stable but it continues to produce significant quandaries for rights discourse on a global scale. The paper examines three dimensions of the political economy of rights that represent a specific critical challenge in globalization as currently construed: the security of securitization, the personhood of corporatism, and the saturating commodification of basic conditions of life. Obviously, these are not the only avenues in which risk and rights might be pursued, yet they do provide pertinent insight into the antinomies of rights under the sign of capital.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Hitchcock
    • 1
  1. 1.The Graduate CenterBaruch College of the City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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