Human rights discourses and conflict: Moving towards desecuritization

The relationship between human rights and conflict transformation is often portrayed as an affirmative one, the missing link that can ensure stability in post-conflict societies and consolidate peace settlements as the organizing framework for relations between individuals and the state. But this does not mean that any articulation of human rights necessarily leads to a desecuritizing and therefore de-escalating effect. In fact, the invocation of a human right entails articulating a violation of an important aspect of human life and therefore opens the scope for securitization: seeking urgent remedial action against this violation. While the long-term aim of such a remedy is the institutionalized guarantee of human rights, the securitizing act may well have an escalating effect in the short to medium term, by reifying existing conflict lines, as argued in Chapter 2.

Related Subject(s): Human Rights and Refugees
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