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Human Rights as Political Imaginary

  • José Julián López
Chapter

Abstract

Drawing on an emerging iconoclastic human rights historiography, pioneered by the historian Samuel Moyn, López traces the origins of human rights not to a mythical postwar consensus at the UN, but to a concatenation of social and political dynamics in the 1970s. This historical vantage point opens up avenues for developing thicker conceptions of human rights by drawing attention to the concrete historical and social relational contexts in which human rights emerged, and which subsequently enabled them to be disseminated. Drawing on the work of Jeffrey Alexander, Bob Jessop, and Margaret Somers, the notion of political imaginary is developed, and defined as assemblages of social representations, social technologies, modes of agency and subjectivity, and particular organizational forms.

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Authors and Affiliations

  • José Julián López
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OttawaOttawaCanada

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