Towards an Agonistic Account of Human Rights Education

  • Michalinos Zembylas
  • André Keet
Part of the Contemporary Philosophies and Theories in Education book series (COPT, volume 13)


This chapter takes up Arendt’s ‘aporetic’ framing of human rights as well as Rancière’s critique and suggests that reading them together may offer another way to re-envision human rights and HRE along the lines discussed throughout this book—not only because they make visible the perplexities of human rights, but also in that they call for an agonistic understanding of rights; namely, the possibility to make new and plural political and ethical claims about human rights as practices that can be evaluated critically rather than taken on faith. This chapter contributes to discussions in other chapters about the need for a renewal of HRE by suggesting that the paradoxes of human rights—such as the disparity between the reality of the human condition and the abstract ideal of human rights—can be politically and pedagogically invigorating by rethinking human rights in agonistic terms and formulating more robust practices of HRE.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michalinos Zembylas
    • 1
  • André Keet
    • 2
  1. 1.Open University of CyprusLatsiaCyprus
  2. 2.Nelson Mandela UniversityPort ElizabethSouth Africa

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