The complexity of human rights in global times: the case of the right to education in South Africa

09 Jul 2020

The right to education has an established legacy in international agreements and debates, but has nonetheless proved dif?cult to achieve across the countries of the world. This paper explores why this might be so. It begins by locating the current architecture of rights in Enlightenment philosophy and the political and legal formations of modernity, exploring the paradoxical legacy this brings. It then looks more speci?cally at the right to education, and why it cannot be assumed that statements of rights deliver what they promise. Finally, it looks at education in South Africa to explore both the limits and the possibilities of using a framework of rights to achieve greater social justice in global times.