Human Rights Movements and Human Rights Markets

Upendra Baxi

in The Future of Human Rights

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780195690439
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081059 | DOI:
Human Rights Movements and Human Rights Markets

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This chapter examines whether specific forms of collective social action named as practices of human rights activism amount to a ‘social’ movement and, if so, how we may understand the relation between human rights activism and social movements. The threshold question raises, in turn, several related questions, such as: What is gained by endeavours aimed at describing practices of human rights activism in terms of social ‘movement?’ How do markets form and inform the practices of human rights activism? How may we understand the conversion of human rights movements into human rights markets? This chapter argues that the growing ‘techniziation’ of the field of human rights, described here in terms of ‘legalization’, impedes any serious exploration by social movement theorists. It also discusses the emancipatory character of human rights movements, legalization and juridicalization, value neutrality, techniques of commodification of human suffering, and the problems of market regulation.

Keywords: human rights; social movements; activism; human rights markets; techniziation; legalization; value neutrality; human suffering; market regulation; juridicalization

Chapter.  14117 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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