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Critical Theory and Human Rights – From Compassion to Coercion - Manchester Scholarship Online
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Critical Theory and Human Rights: From Compassion to Coercion

David McGrogan


This book describes how human rights have given rise to a vision of benevolent governance that, if fully realised, would be antithetical to individual freedom. It shows that contemporary human rights practice is increasingly managerial in nature, interested above all in measuring and improving human rights performance. This has the effect of shifting the focus of human rights from the individual rights-holder to the activities of the duty-bearer: the state, international organisation, or business. The result is a preoccupation with achieving measured improvements within abstract groups such as ... More

Keywords: human rights, Michael Oakeshott, Michel Foucault, managerialism, international law, the state, pastoral power, global governance, governmentality, freedom

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9781526131829
Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2022 DOI:10.7765/9781526131836


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David McGrogan, author
Northumbria University