Marxism and human rights: new thoughts on an old debate

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This paper revives the debate as to whether Marxism is compatible with a commitment to human rights, but, in presenting a defence of such a compatibility, seeks to extend that debate beyond the confines of philosophical analysis to incorporate the contributions of Marxist theory to the sociology of human rights. It suggests that Marxist theory enables us to re-evaluate the priorities of human rights as a political project, and that in doing so it complements the social constructionist approach prevalent within the sociology of human rights. Taken together, a Marxist theory of social structure and a social constructionist theory of human rights enable a fuller realisation of the possibility of an emancipatory politics.

© 2019, Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The attached document (embargoed until 21/07/2020) is an author produced version of a paper published in THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HUMAN RIGHTS uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)638-652
JournalInternational Journal of Human Rights
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2019

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