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Critical International LawPostrealism, Postcolonialism, and Transnationalism$
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Prabhakar Singh and Benoît Mayer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199450633

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199450633.001.0001

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‘Suffering’ the Paradox of Rights?

‘Suffering’ the Paradox of Rights?

Critical Subaltern Historiography and the Genealogy of Empathy

Chapter:
(p.167) 7 ‘Suffering’ the Paradox of Rights?
Source:
Critical International Law
Author(s):

Mark Toufayan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199450633.003.0007

This chapter argues that the term ‘history’ denotes, rather crudely, both what could be called in abstract terms ‘events in time and space’, as well as the way these events are assembled and presented by historians. The chapter’s argument is based on a discussion of Upendra Baxi’s Future of Human Rights–a project that problematizes the very idea of human rights to offer a genealogy of empathy. This chapter shows how Baxi’s firm resolve to contribute an alternative reading of, inter alia, histories of human rights and practices, invites a decidedly historiographical turn in the field of human rights which, to this day, has gone largely unheeded both by historians and international lawyers within the critical genre.

Keywords:   human rights, empathy, genealogy, Baxi, historiography

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