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Reconstructing Human RightsA Pragmatist and Pluralist Inquiry into Global Ethics$
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Joe Hoover

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198782803

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198782803.001.0001

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Human Rights as Agonistic Politics

Human Rights as Agonistic Politics

Chapter:
(p.137) 5 Human Rights as Agonistic Politics
Source:
Reconstructing Human Rights
Author(s):

Joe Hoover

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198782803.003.0005

In this chapter, the democratic ethos that is argued to be central to reconstructing human rights is furthered by engaging with agonistic democratic theory. It argues that William Connolly’s work offers key insights for understanding the nature of political community and the terms of legitimate authority in our contemporary world, which moves beyond both the nationalist and cosmopolitan visions of democracy. I use this agonistic perspective to offer an initial reconstruction of human rights as a democratizing ethos that invokes ‘humanity’ as an ambiguous political identity, which is substantively contested and formally universally inclusive, and which has the potential to enable contestations over the fundamental terms of legitimate political authority.

Keywords:   William Connolly, agonism, pluralism, democracy, humanity, authority, community, nationalism, cosmopolitanism

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