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Conference

Law and Philosophy

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Decolonizing Human Rights: Sovereignty. Disruption. Tactics., A. Kayum Ahmed Oct 2019

Decolonizing Human Rights: Sovereignty. Disruption. Tactics., A. Kayum Ahmed

Conference: The Social Practice of Human Rights

Despite its emancipatory potential, human rights remains locked in a form of epistemic coloniality that defers to Euro-American knowledge and reinforces anthropocentric exceptionalism. In order to employ human rights as a source of emancipation, human rights must itself be emancipated—it must be decolonized. Drawing on the notion of 'decoloniality' as a framework that advances radical possibilities by delinking from structural racism, patriarchy and class embedded in capitalism and Western modernity, a typology of human rights as sovereignty, disruption, and tactics is developed as a way of understanding human rights from the position of the colonized.