Towards an actor-oriented perspective on human rights


This chapter1 argues that rights are shaped through actual struggles informed by people’s own understandings of what they are justly entitled to. Examining rights from the perspective of actual struggles makes it possible for analysis to transcend accepted normative parameters of human rights debates, question established conceptual categories and expand the range of claims that are validated as rights. The chapter draws out these ‘actor-oriented perspectives’ in the course of reviewing key debates in the field of international human rights to show how they question underlying assumptions in these debates, and offer the possibility of breaking through the impasse that some of them have reached.

Owing to copyright restrictions, only the first 3 pages are attached, together with a link to the book at Zed Books.


Nyamu-Musembi, C. Towards an actor-oriented perspective on human rights. In: Inclusive Citizenship: Meanings and Expressions. N Kabeer (ed.). Zed Books, London, UK (2005) ISBN 9781842775486

Published 1 January 2005