Agamben and the Politics of Human Rights: Statelessness, Images, Violence (BOK)
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Can human rights protect the stateless? Or are they permanently excluded from politics? We are living in world in which human rights are violated on an unprecedented scale, often by the very sovereign states who claim to protect them. According to Giorgio Agamben, this is no coincidence: he argues that human rights are actually a sign of our growing powerlessness and political alienation in the face of a sovereign state of exception that has become global. Taking Agamben's critique as their starting point, Lechte and Newman reveal the paradoxes central to the politics of human rights by exploring questions of statelessness, exclusion, the violence of security and the visual representation of refugees and illegal migrants in the media. They propose a radical rethinking of human rights: as disengaged from humanitarianism, biopolitics, sovereignty and the society of the spectacle; as becoming genuinely political.