Shadows of Universalism: The Untold Story of Human Rights around 1948

Liu, Lydia H.

How did the idea of self-determination get written into human rights after World War II? And by whom? In this article, Lydia H. Liu reopens the history of how the postwar norms of human rights were radically transformed by an unexpected clash with the classical standard of civilization in international law. She analyzes the drafting of the document of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the UN debates surrounding it to explore the translingual forging of universalism in the multiple temporalities of global history.


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Also Published In

Critical Inquiry

More About This Work

Academic Units
East Asian Languages and Cultures
Published Here
March 4, 2019


Suggested keywords: human rights, universalism, the classical standard of civilization, international law, self-determination, the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Peng-Chun Chang, 1948