Rights Claiming as a Practice of Persuasion

Karen Zivi

in Making Rights Claims

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199826414
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919437 | DOI:
Rights Claiming as a Practice of Persuasion

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This chapter suggests that we need to think of rights claims as claims of persuasion rather than as trumping claims, a shift that involves more fully appreciating them as perlocutionary utterances that have uncertain effects. It draws on the work of Arendt to develop an understanding of persuasion as a performative political practice that recognizes the plurality of individual perspectives and the impossibility of definitive political outcomes. It then explore J.S. Mill’s rights theory and politics to illustrate what a persuasive politics of rights looks like and to reveal its democratic potential. It thus challenges those traditional readings of Mill that interpret him as advancing a liberal individualism at odds with democratic values and practices.

Keywords: persuasion; Hannah Arendt; J.S. Mill; atomistic individualism; perlocutionary utterances

Chapter.  11002 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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