Race, Rights and Reterritorialization

Gott, Gil

This Essay considers the possibility of a political and dialectical theory of rights that builds on Critical race and neo-Marxist traditions through revision of formal Marxian approaches and in light of racialized forms of accumulation and anti-systemic struggle. This Essay borrows from the CRT and neo-Marxist traditions in arguing for the centrality of both political contestation and structural economic-materialist conditions in forging a progressive politics of rights. This can be contrasted to a critique of human rights in the international context that sees the discourse itself as depoliticizing insofar as rights become the prime possession of those who are denied a political space in which to assert their claims. The metaphor of rights (re)territorialization captures these concerns, while foregrounding the ongoing importance of race in grounding various aspects of global capital accumulation and concomitant political formations.


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Columbia Journal of Race and Law

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October 20, 2012