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In the break (of rights and representation): sociality beyond the non/human subject

Petersmann, Marie (2023) In the break (of rights and representation): sociality beyond the non/human subject. International Journal of Human Rights. ISSN 1364-2987

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13642987.2023.2227124

Abstract

Nonhuman interests are today routinely articulated in a register of ‘rights’. ‘Rights of nature’ and ‘animal rights’ have expanded the vernacular of liberal rights beyond the human subject, thereby arguably entering the realm of ‘post-human rights’. For such rights to be enforced, however, they must be recognised within a legal order and mediated by human subjects speaking on behalf of nonhuman ‘right-holders’. This article focuses on the modes of representation and subjectification of nonhumans – whether natural entities, animals, or ecosystems – that underpin this reconfiguration. While granting rights to nonhumans de-centres the human figure at the heart of liberal legal orders, it remains focused on the category of the subject. Taking on the questions of the symposium on ‘After Rights? Politics, Ethics, Aesthetics’, I argue that granting rights to nonhumans might well enable a move beyond or ‘after human rights’, but not ‘after human rights’. To think the possibility of an ‘after rights’, I turn to practices of sociality as articulated in works of critical Black studies that refuse the category of the subject as such. What emerges are modes of living in escape from violent subjections to racialised, colonial, and liberal inscriptions of worlding through ‘rights’, whether humans or nonhumans.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: Law
Subjects: K Law
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2023 08:30
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2024 21:51
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/120237

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