Against the recent backdrop of sociopolitical crisis, radical thinking and activism to challenge the oppressive operation of power has increased. Such thinkers and activists have aimed for radical social transformation in the sense of challenging dominant ways of viewing the world, including the neoliberal illusion of improving the welfare of all while advancing the interests of only some. However, a question mark has remained over the utility of human rights in this activity and the capability of rights to challenge, as opposed to reinforce, discourses such as liberalism, capitalism, internationalism and statism. It is at this point that the present work aims to intervene. Drawing upon critical legal theory, radical democratic thinking and feminist perspectives, Human Rights and Radical Social Transformation seeks to reassess the radical possibilities for human rights and explore how rights may be re-engaged as a tool to facilitate radical social change via the concept of ‘human rights to come’. This idea proposes a reconceptualisation of human rights in theory and practice which foregrounds human rights as inherently futural and capable of sustaining a critical relation to power and alterity in radical politics.

chapter 1|14 pages


chapter 2|19 pages

The excesses of human rights

Beginning to think of a futural future for human rights

chapter 3|21 pages

(Re)Doing rights

The performativity of human rights to come

chapter 4|21 pages

Universality as universalisation

The universality of human rights to come

chapter 5|20 pages

Beyond consensus

The agonism of human rights to come

chapter 6|20 pages

Rethinking paradoxical sovereignty

The ontology of human rights to come

chapter 7|19 pages

On translation

The practice of human rights to come

chapter 9|7 pages

Conclusion as non-conclusion