Race, Social Struggles, and ‘Human’ Rights: Contributions from the Global South

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Many contemporary social movements in Latin America base their political projects
upon a critique of colonialism or coloniality, and point to the problem of racism that lies
at the core of human rights thinking. This article further develops these critiques by
discussing two important antecedents to contemporary human rights thinking. The first
concerns the construction of the hierarchical category ‘human’ during the conquest and
colonization of America. The second concerns the ways in which a particular
construction of race crystallized and played a pivotal role in the social struggles of
racialized subjects in Latin America during independence and republic building. These
struggles ensured that an idea of racial equality was incorporated into the legal
frameworks of the newly independent Latin American countries. However, the inclusion
of this idea in the legal bases of these new republics was, at the same time, used to cover
over the struggles of the racialized subjects that brought them into being in the first place.
This article highlights the ongoing importance of these points to contemporary human
rights thinking.
TidsskriftJournal of Critical Globalisation Studies
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)78-102
StatusUdgivet - 2013

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