Mass Appeals for the Rights of Others
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Human rights campaigns assert controversial arguments about the importance of human dignity in the face of the arbitrary exercise of power. The history of human rights is indeed a history of confrontation between forces seeking to preserve the status quo and those acting in defense of marginalized underdogs. Yet, a new tradition was created when human rights advocates designed platforms that are in tension with—or even antithetical to—the radical history of human rights. The critical theory of the Frankfurt School warns of the political risks for movements that rely on commercial transactions and marketized relationships. Today, elements of consumerism and popular culture are integral to human rights movement-building efforts, but this new direction poses risks for the long-term viability of the movement.
KeywordsHuman rightsHuman Rights NGOsNon-governmental Organizations Critical theoryCritical Theory advocacyAdvocacy Consumer capitalismCapitalism
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