A politics of human rights – the right to rights as universal right to politics?

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Abstract:

Confronted by the charge of depoliticisation levelled at human rights frameworks and interventions, I investigate the possibility of a politics of human rights at the core of democratic politics. In doing so, I am guided by Hannah Arendt’s reconstitutive critique, and Claude Lefort’s analysis of political modernity, which could be seen to converge in a justification of a ‘politics of human rights’ and, even more specifically, of ‘the political’ of human rights. Central in this regard is Arendt’s postulation of “the Right to have rights”, which would meet the criteria for “equaliberty” (Balibar), a symbolic division (Lefort), and intensive universality (Balibar), which, in turn, circumscribe the concept of ‘the political’.