Toward a Democratic Conception of Human Rights

Sine Bağatur
Theoria and Praxis   unpublished
It has been repeatedly stated that human rights have become the lingua franca of contemporary politics, and that the notion of human rights is mobilized in resistance to contemporary forms of exploitation and oppression. However, at the same time this perception of human rights as a form of politics has been accompanied by skepticism about the value and political efficacy of human rights. In this essay, I investigate which philosophical conceptions of human rights are appropriate for an
more » ... iate for an analysis of the justification and political efficacy of human rights within real-life rights struggles. Against the dominant conceptions of human rights, I argue for an alternative democratic conception of human rights which embraces the political significance of human rights within democratic politics. This conception of human rights moves the debate about the praxis of human rights beyond the opposition between the naturalistic and political conceptions of human rights that is prevalent in the mainstream philosophical literature on human rights.