Law and cultural studies: A critical rearticulation of human rights

Research output: Book/ReportBooks

3 Citations (Scopus)


New and unremitting violence linked to state, inter-state, and private actors has precipitated a renewal of social movements, many of which act in concert with human rights ethos and legal conceptions. Yet, cultural studies has so far had little engagement or institutional connection with these movements. How can cultural studies as a progressive discipline think with, and make space for, rights-inflected legal and humanitarian practices? This book considers the ways in which cultural humanism and the critical approach to rights, and more broadly between culture and law, can be brought together to open a new intellectual space to allow cultural studies to better engage with the current challenges presented by social and political struggles worldwide. It lays out the central theses essential for constructing a critical view of human rights, and then advances a distinctive critical model of analysis that incorporates insights of postcolonial legal theorists and jurists from the Global South and important cultural theorists from the North, while rethinking law, rights, and social movements as something constituted by multiple legal modernities. Through case studies covering questions relating to sovereignty, citizenship, refugee displacement, human rights defenders, and gender and sexual rights, Law and Cultural Studies develops a means by which the practice of cultural studies can be reinvigorated around the legal spaces, institutions, and movements tied to human rights struggles. As such, it will appeal to scholars of cultural and media studies, critical legal studies, political theory, postcolonial studies, and human rights. Copyright © 2019 John Nguyet Erni.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
ISBN (Electronic)9781317156222, 9781315575377
ISBN (Print)9781472414861
Publication statusPublished - 2019


Erni, J. N. (2019). Law and cultural studies: A critical rearticulation of human rights. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.


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