The Conflictual Theory of Law: Towards a More Inclusive Understanding of Rights

By: Julius M. Rogenhofer
Despite the global crisis of human rights imagination and protection, a universalist justification for rights remains firmly entrenched in the institutional self-understanding of many of the world’s liberal democracies. Yet I contend that liberalism’s ahistorical and undifferentiated justifications of what are undeniably important principles for the protection of human life and dignity, including rights to privacy, family, nationality and political participation (Articles 12, 15, 21 UDHR), are unable to account for the pluralism intrinsic to social histories and human experiences.