Human rights: Why debating their universality is unhelpful

By Koen Donatz  Human rights have become a hotly debated topic in both the academic and the political world, one of the main points of contention being whether they are universal or not. As Eva Brems has shown, feminists and cultural relativists are among the staunchest opponents of the claimed universality of human rights, criticizing its male bias and Western bias respectively. Thus, many debates discuss the universality of human rights at what Jack Donnelly calls the historical or anthropological level, examining its historical roots. However, most of such debates (and debates with different approaches, for that matter) ignore the …

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Seeing like a miner: The joys and menaces of informal gold extraction in Chocó, Colombia

by Jesse Jonkman ‘Let’s not fool ourselves, the Colombian state always tries to shut the door to the poor man in order to lead him to war.’ Manuel* spits out the words while he is contemplating the tranquil flow of the Bebará river that passes alongside his natal village La Villa. His criticism is directed at the government administration of President Santos and its eagerness to combat ‘illegal’ mining. ‘The state made up that mining is illegal. I understand that cocaine is illegal. It’s something that inflicts harm upon a lot of people. But a metal that comes from the …

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Being a (feminist) killjoy – he or me?

TRIGGER WARNING: This article, or pages it links to, contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors. Girl I want to make you sweat Sweat till you can’t sweat no more And if you cry I’m gonna push it, push it, push it some more Alalalalalong Bob Marley, Looking In Your Big Brown Eyes Today a friend of mine sent me a Facebook link with an audio fragment of radio 538, a popular Dutch radio channel (2018, test je vriend, Radio 538). The reactions below were filled with hysterical exhilaration – emoticons that tear up …

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