Reflections on Human Rights and Power [book]

Pablo Gilabert
2018 Oxford Scholarship Online  
This chapter explores the tensions between the normative ideal of human rights and the facts of asymmetric power. First, it reconstructs and assesses important power-related worries about human rights. These worries are sometimes presented as falsifying the view that human rights exist, or at least as warranting the abandonment of human rights practice. The chapter argues that the worries do not warrant such conclusions. Instead, they motivate the identification of certain desiderata for the
more » ... lioration of human rights practice. The chapter identifies twelve such desiderata. Second, this chapter proposes a strategy for satisfying these desiderata. In particular, it suggests some ways to build empowerment into the human rights project that reduce the absolute and relative powerlessness of human rights holders, while also identifying an ethics of responsibility and solidarity for contexts in which power deficits will not dissolve. Power analysis does not debunk the human rights project. Properly articulated, it is an important tool for those pursuing it.
doi:10.1093/oso/9780198713258.003.0023 fatcat:6tfpxs2ofbfgreis27gef3ggfy