States of Human Rights

Nash, Kate. 2011. States of Human Rights. Sociologica, 1(n/a), pp. 1-10. ISSN 1971-8853 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

States are in a paradoxical position in relation to human rights. On one hand state actors are to be held accountable as the violators of human rights (1). On the other hand, states are addressed in international human rights law as the guarantors of human rights.

Sociologists (and indeed, political theorists), have, however, barely begun to address questions that are raised by the paradoxes of ‘states of human rights’. The purpose of this paper is to open up these questions by shifting focus from the activities of human rights activists and their attempts to legitimate their rights-claims in order to make law or to make law count, to look at the structures with which they must engage in trying to realise human rights in practice. How are states structured in ways that facilitate or impede the realisation of human rights?

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies > Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy


January 2011Published

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Date Deposited:

04 Nov 2011 16:13

Last Modified:

10 Aug 2020 10:08

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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