Human Rights and the Global South

Gavin W. Anderson

in The Legal Protection of Human Rights

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199606078
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729720 | DOI:
Human Rights and the Global South

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This chapter seeks to rescue human rights by developing an alternative epistemology of human rights associated with the phenomenon of ‘globalization from below’. This relates to the emergence of transnational networks of social movements, NGOs, and umbrella groupings such as the World Social Forum, which call into question the neoliberal paradigm and its version of human rights. A transformed rights discourse would be rooted in the politics of the global South which rejects the human rights used in the justification of colonialism and the dominance of international corporations. Rather, the emphasis is on public health over property rights and on the differences rather than universal features of human cultures. An example is the globalization of Western economic and social rights which privilege developed countries in international markets. If the Western dominant epistemology of human nature underlying the modern human rights movement is challenged, this gives us further reasons to be sceptical about current top-down methods of institutionalizing human rights.

Keywords: globalization; transnational networks; neoliberal; global South; public health; World Social Forum

Chapter.  9443 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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