Show Summary Details
The Globalization of World PoliticsAn Introduction to International Relations

The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations (9th edn)

John Baylis, Steve Smith, and Patricia Owens
Page of

Printed from Oxford Politics Trove. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 27 May 2024

p. 50532. Human rightslocked

p. 50532. Human rightslocked

  • Ratna Kapur


This chapter looks at human rights, analysing the structure and politics of human rights in the twenty-first century. In particular, the chapter examines the influence of liberal internationalism on human rights and how this is shaped by the legacies of colonialism, slavery, apartheid, and engagements with sexual, religious, and racial differences. The chapter encourages questions about whether rights are universal instruments of emancipation, or whether the rights are more complex, contradictory, and contingent in their functioning. The chapter also sets out the dominant understandings of human rights as progressive, universal, and based on a common human subject. Human rights advocates sometimes differ on the strategies to be adopted to address violations; these can have material, normative, and structural consequences that are not always empowering. These competing positions are illustrated through two case studies: one on the Islamic veil bans in Europe and the second on same-sex, queer relationships, LGBTQ rights, and colonial laws.

You do not currently have access to this chapter

Sign in

Please sign in to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription