The Global Campus on Human Rights has launched a podcast on human rights. The podcast, dubbed "To the Righthouse", explores different expressions of human rights scepticism, together with renowned experts like Samuel Moyn and Manfred Nowak; Koen De Feyter and Paul Gready; Nandini Ramanujam and Jerald Joseph; Lotte Leicht and Guy Haarscher; Costas Douzinas.
Prof. Koen De Feyter, spokesperson of the Law and Development group, was featured in the third episode of the podcast on "Negotiationg tensions":
Are human rights an unrealistic luxury? Pragmatically-oriented expressions of human rights scepticism do not take issue with the concept of human rights as such. Rather, they question the relevance and efficacy of human rights in particular settings. They may acknowledge that human rights express a noble ideal to which one can aspire, but in current circumstances it is a luxury that society cannot afford. This argument is based on the implicit premise that compliance with human rights inevitably happens at the expense of other societal objectives, notably economic progress and national security and stability, and conversely, that the prioritisation of such objectives sometimes necessitates a disregard for human rights. An obvious response is to seek to demonstrate that the given societal objectives can be realised in a human rights compliant fashion. However, in order to be convincing, this needs to be demonstrated in concrete terms in the actual situations that people inhabit. The devil here lies in the detail: How to constructively negotiate such tensions?
You can listen to this episode and others here.