While international efforts to tackle poverty and social exclusion increasingly focus on issues of rights and citizenship, the gap between poor people and the institutions charged with protecting their rights has widened. In addition, there is a gap between the way in which rights are framed in actual struggles informed by people's own understanding of what they are entitled to and in dominant discourses about rights. Looking for the meaning of rights from the perspective of those claiming them pushes the boundaries of conventional human rights debates and expands the range of claims that can be validated as rights. This article draws out these \"actor-oriented\" perspectives through a discussion of three key debates that have preoccupied human rights scholars and practitioners, challenging many of the assumptions that underlie them.
Nyamu-Musembi, C. An Actor-oriented Approach to Rights in Development. IDS Bulletin (2005) 36 (1) 41-51. [DOI: 10.1111/j.1759-5436.2005.tb00177.x]