Authors: Ulf Johansson Dahre
this paper is an attempt to critically assess international human rights law. The aim is to move towards a theoretical understanding of how human rights work in state practice and why its significance in world politics and conflicts is declining and/or even ignored. The paper therefore explores the political domains of the legal structures of human rights, and attempts to deconstruct the boundaries between political and ideological frameworks and the influences on international human rights law and state action.1 In line with this argument, I will show that the ideal of a World Order based on human rights cannot sustain its proposition, as social and political conflicts, in the end, must be solved by political means. Even if there is a widespread legal rhetoric about international human rights, that rhetoric most of the time relies on contested political principles and relative cultural values.
Keywords: human rights, states, international law, universalism, cultural relativism