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date: 27 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter remarks on the pragmatic element in human rights, focusing on the question of what it means to theorize them through the lens of pragmatism, as well as probing the limits of pragmatism. It aims to provide a conspectus of the way in which some recent and influential thinkers have theorized human rights through the lens of pragmatism, and to problematize this very turn to pragmatism. The argument here is that the critical potential of pragmatism too often ends up re-entrenching a conservative, liberal political vision of human rights even as it licenses extraordinary militarism on behalf of powerful states and the international community.

Keywords: Responsibility of international organizations, General principles of international law, Human rights remedies, Sources of international law

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