Friday, December 21, 2018

Slaughter on the New Historiography of Human Rights

Joseph Slaughter, Columbia University, has posted Hijacking Human Rights: Neoliberalism, the New Historiography, and the End of the Third World, which appears in Human Rights Quarterly 40 (November 2018): 735-75:
Recent histories identify the 1970s as the “breakthrough” period when human rights discourse gained traction globally. However, most of the new historiographers adopt an Americo-Eurocentric perspective that disregards events and peoples in the rest of the world. For many in the Global South, the Western rediscovery of human rights looks more like retrenchment and repossession, part of a larger “roll back” of Third World agendas to decolonize the international order. The 1970s also witnessed increased airline hijackings and a reversal in the meaning of “terrorism.” Together, these forces effected a neoliberal hijacking of human rights.