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Rights in Context: Law and Justice in Late Modern Society
Ashgate Publishing, November 2010, Pages: 368
This volume offers snapshots of how rights are debated and employed in public discourse to reshape legal and political relations at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It explores how rights are used to challenge the state of affairs by individuals and groups who seek justice, and the strategies devised to defy the existing rights by those who wish to recast the social and political order.
This volume discusses rights, firstly, in relation to actual events and issues faced by policy-makers, courts, international agencies, or ordinary people. These range from the demands of minority groups living in the West to freely practice their culture and/or religion, to the threat of terrorism, the regulation of asylum rights, the investor's rights to disclosure and the rights of artists to freedom of expression. Secondly, rights discourse is examined in relation to attempts to redefine the form and content of rights, for example, by banning the right to wear religious symbols in public institutions or detaining terrorism suspects without trial. Thirdly, rights discourse is explored in connection with the attempts to develop new notions of rights, such as 'human security', which can more effectively respond to the challenges of late modern societies. Finally, the statuses of rights in sociological theory and socio-legal research are briefly discussed and analysed.
Introduction: snapshots of the rights discourse, Reza Banakar
Law, rights and justice in late modern society: a tentative theoretical framework, Reza Banakar
PART I THE CRITIQUES OF RIGHTS:
A sociological critique of rights, Max Travers
The 'rights' conundrum: poverty of philosophy amidst poverty, Radha D'Souza
Dangerous rights: of citizens and humans, Kate Nash
The neglected minority: the penurious human rights of artists, Paul Kearns
Truth and myth in critical theory, Eric Heinze.
PART II THE CHALLENGES OF RIGHTS:
Defacing Muslim women: dialectical meanings of dress in the body politic, Susan Edwards
Beyond the sacred and the secular: Muslim women, the law and the delivery of justice, Samia Bano
The right to be different: the position of Muslim migrants in The Netherlands, Halleh Ghorashi
It's not about free expression: a sociological examination of the Danish cartoon controversy, Sarah Dreier
Pre-empting terrorism? Two case studies of UK's anti-terrorism legislation, Reza Banakar.
PART III THE STRATEGIES OF RIGHTS:
Human rights strategies in an age of counter-terrorism, Daniel Moeckli
'Terrorist lists' and procedural human rights: a collision between UN law, EU law and Strasbourg law?, Bill Bowring
Human security and international law: much ado about nothing?, Emma McClean.
PART IV THE RECONSTRUCTION OF RIGHTS:
Rights and diverse effects in EC law: a Hohfeldian approach to the doctrine of direct effect of directives, Joxerramon Bengoetxea and Niilo Jääskinen
Investor's rights to disclosure of complex financial instruments: a risk symmetric analysis, Joseph Tanega
Women, culture and human rights: feminist interventions in human rights law?, Harriet Samuels
Rights and responsibilities, Hanne Petersen
Reza Banakar is the Professor of Socio-Legal Studies at Department of Advanced Legal Studies at the University of Westminster, London. He was previously the Paul Dodyk Research Fellow at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies in Oxford.
Reviews: 'This integrated and thoughtful collection illustrates the increasing significance of rights discourse in contemporary political, policy, and legal debates ranging from artistic expression, multiculturalism, financialization, human security, and the "war on terror". The contributors adopt a nuanced and rich relational and sociological approach to rights that seeks to reconnect law to social justice in a globalized and post-industrial world.
Judy Fudge, University of Victoria, Canada
'This stimulating book brings a range of socio-legal perspectives to bear on how talk about rights is framed, used and exploited at local, national, and transnational levels. It challenges many complacent assumptions about the relationship between law, justice and politics in the conditions of late modernity.'
William Twining, University College London, UK
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