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Are human rights a form of social control?

Silvia Falcetta and I have recently been thinking about the ways in which human rights law provides a mechanism for achieving forms of social control in contemporary societies. 

Although human rights law is not commonly thought of as a means by which to regulate individuals - on the contrary, human rights law is usually seen as a way that individuals resist regulation - we have examined a number of ways in which human rights law does underpin and produce social controls. 

We have drawn upon judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, and examined the execution of those judgments by the Council of Europe, to consider how human rights law contributes to patterns of contemporary social control. 

We have produced a working paper which shows how human rights law - by codifying abstract values and endorsing practices to realize those values – plays a significant role in shaping the control of individual or group behaviours designated as deviant or problematic in contemporary societies.


Her…

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