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Title: Statelessness, sentimentality and human rights: A critique of Rorty's liberal human rights culture
Authors: Staples, Kelly L.
First Published: 19-Sep-2011
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Citation: Philosophy and Social Criticism, 2011, 37 (9), pp. 1011-1024
Abstract: This article considers the ongoing difficulties for mainstream political theory of actualizing human rights, with particular reference to Rorty’s attempt to transcend their liberal foundations. It argues that there is a problematic disjuncture between his articulation of exclusion and his hope for inclusion via the expansion of the liberal human rights culture. More specifically, it shows that Rorty’s description of victimhood is based on premises unavailable to him, with the consequence that stateless persons are rendered inhuman, and, further, that his accounts of sentimentality and solidarity have limited potential for the inclusion of such victims within the liberal ‘community of justification’. In the final analysis, the article argues that there is a substantial mismatch between Rorty’s dependence on both liberal norms and international political practice, and his hopes for the human rights culture to include those stripped of human dignity.
DOI Link: 10.1177/0191453711416085
ISSN: 0191-4537
eISSN: 1461-734X
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: © The Author(s) 2011. Deposited with reference to the publisher's archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Politics and International Relations

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