Download Agamben and the Politics of Human Rights: Statelessness, by John Lechte PDF

By John Lechte

Can human rights shield the stateless? Or are they completely excluded from politics and condemned to "bare life"?Human rights are in main issue this day. in all places one appears, there's violence, deprivation, and oppression, which human rights norms look powerless to avoid. This e-book investigates the roots of the present problem throughout the considered Italian thinker, Giorgio Agamben. Human rights concept and perform needs to come to grips with key difficulties pointed out by way of Agamben - the violence of the sovereign nation of exception and the relief of humanity to 'bare' lifestyles. Any renewal of human rights at the present time needs to contain breaking decisively with the normal coordinates of Western political concept and as an alternative verify a brand new realizing of lifestyles and political motion.

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Extra info for Agamben and the Politics of Human Rights: Statelessness, Images, Violence

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As Arendt explains: [In Ancient Greece] the very term 'political economy' would have been a contradiction in terms: whatever was 'economic', related to the life of the individual and the survival of the species, was a non-politicat household affair by definition. (1958: 29 [emphasis added]) Of course, without attending to physical needs, such as shelter - the realm of survival- no politicallife is possible: 'without owning a house a man could not participate in the affairs of the world because he had no location in it which was properly his own' (29-30).

And, as even Arendt herself acknowledges, it is these peoples most of all who should be the beneficiaries of human rights protection. Finaily, as we shall see, the Arendtian and European conception of Athenian society as being essentially structured around the private oikos and public polis is largely ideological. Indeed, most ancient historians would agree (see Finley 1980) that life in ancient Athens was not driven by the Hauswirtsehaft (household economy) and that the economy was also part of the public domain, with, for one thing, slaves being used by the state on various public works.

If a public sphere based in a political community can only ever be the endpoint in human destiny and never its beginning, and if in order to arrive at this endpoint one must first endure necessity, dearly some (whether individuals, peoples or groups) are not going to make it. Arendt' s 'savages' are not going to make it. Although it was thought in the abstract and, in particular, at the time of the French Declaration, that the hum an as human was a relatively unproblematic notion, possibly because it implied a degree of transcendence, the advent of modernity has shown that this is no longer the case.

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