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Human Rights Law and the Marginalized Other

This is a groundbreaking application of contemporary philosophy to human rights law that proposes significant innovations for the progressive development of human rights. Drawing on the works of prominent 'philosophers of the Other' including Emmanuel Levinas, Gayatri Chakravorti Spivak, Judith Butler and, most centrally, the Argentine philosopher of liberation Enrique Dussel, this book develops an ethics based on concrete face-to-face relationships with the Marginalized Other. It proposes that this should inspire a human rights law that is grounded in transcendental justice and framed from the perspective of marginalized groups. This would continuously deconstruct the original violence found in all human rights treaties and tribunals and promote preferential treatment for the marginalized. It would be especially attentive to such issues as access to justice, voice, representation, agency and responsibility. This differs markedly from more conventional theories that prioritize the autonomy of the ego, state sovereignty, democracy and/or equality.
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Table of Contents

Part I. A Deconstruction of Human Rights Law: 1. Arendt, Little Rock, and the cauterization of the other; 2. Democracy, human rights, and L'Affaire du Foulard; Part II. A Phenomenology of the Saturated Other: 3. Derrida, Levinas, and the rights of the other; 4. The saturated other; Part III. A Human Rights of the Marginalized Other: 5. Learning to learn from the voice of the other; 6. Self-ascription by the marginalized other in asylum law; 7. Heteronomic rights and duties.

About the Author

William Paul Simmons is Associate Professor of Political Science and founding director of the M.A. program in Social Justice and Human Rights at Arizona State University. His research is highly interdisciplinary, relying on theoretical, legal and empirical approaches to social justice and human rights issues. He is the author of An-Archy and Justice, co-editor of the forthcoming Localizing Human Rights: The US-Mexico Experience and author of numerous articles and book chapters including recent work offering the most comprehensive study to date of widespread sexual violence against migrant women. He has served as an international human rights consultant in the United States, China, Mexico and West Africa.

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