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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Yingru Li and John McKernan

The United Nations Guiding Principles locate human rights at the centre of the corporate social responsibility agenda and provide a substantial platform for the

Abstract

Purpose

The United Nations Guiding Principles locate human rights at the centre of the corporate social responsibility agenda and provide a substantial platform for the development of business and human rights policy and practice. The initiative gives opportunity and focus for the rethinking and reconfiguration of corporate accountability for human rights. It also presents a threat: the danger, as we see it, is that the Guiding Principles are interpreted and implemented in an uncritical way, on a “humanitarian” model of imposed expertise. The critical and radical democratic communities have tended to be, perhaps rightly, suspicious of rights talk and sceptical of any suggestion that rights and the discourse of human rights can play a progressive role. The purpose of this paper is to explore these issues from a radical perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses insights taken from Jacques Rancière’s work to argue that there is vital critical potential in human rights. There is an obvious negativity to Rancière’s thought insofar as it conceives of the political as a challenge to the existing social order. The positive dimension to his work, which has its origins in his commitment to and tireless affirmation of the fact of equality, is equally important, if perhaps less obvious. Together the negative and positive moments provide a dynamic conception of human rights and a dialectical view of the relation between human rights and the social order, which enables us to overcome much of the criticism levelled at human rights by certain theorists.

Findings

Rancière’s conception of the political puts human rights inscriptions, and the traces of equality they carry, at the heart of progressive politics. The authors close the paper with a discussion of the role that accounting for human rights can play in such a democratic politics, and by urging, on that basis, the critical accounting community to cautiously embrace the opportunity presented by the Guiding Principles.

Originality/value

This paper has some novelty in its application of Rancière’s thinking on political theory to the problems of critical accounting and in particular the critical potential of accounting and human rights. The paper makes a theoretical contribution to a critical understanding of the relationship between accounting, human rights, and democracy.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2008

Deirdre Tedmanson

This paper aims to trace the genealogy of state violence on Palm Island to argue forms of “colonial” control over Indigenous governance and organisational life persist in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to trace the genealogy of state violence on Palm Island to argue forms of “colonial” control over Indigenous governance and organisational life persist in Australia. Using Agamben's theories of homo sacer, sovereign power and state of exception, the paper seeks to reveal the biopolitical nature of two centuries of abuses against Indigenous Australians. Arguably, past and recent tragedies on Palm Island show how juridico‐political regimes continue to subvert the citizenship and human rights of many Indigenous Australians – their sovereignty, governance structures and organisations. The purpose of the paper is to develop a greater focus in postcolonial writing on current political issues, by combining critical theory with grounded narratives of lived experiences and contemporary events.

Design/methodology/approach

Insights from political theorist Agamben are used to critically analyse the management of violence on Palm Island. The paper draws on documents from the public record, such as historical accounts, legislation, parliamentary Hansard and records of government inquiries, as well as first hand media commentaries of recent events. These textual data form the empirical and evidentiary base from which broader theoretical conceptualisations of this case are discussed.

Findings

The paper finds the lingering effects of past exclusion/s are inscribed in the discursive environment and continue to animate the power relations that effect the life and death experiences of Indigenous Australians today. It finds utility and relevance in applying Agamben's theories of the camp, state of exception and homo sacer, to extend postcolonial understandings of contemporary Indigenous contexts. The legitimacy and derivative power of organizations is compromised during times of “exception” and this raises important theoretical issues worthy of further exploration from both a critical management studies and postcolonial perspective.

Originality/value

This paper applies Agamben's theories in an original way to the postcolonial context. It extends theoretical understandings of racial oppressions and organisational consequences.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 4 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Book part
Publication date: 2 July 2007

Anna M. Agathangelou and Tamara L. Spira

As triumphantly announced in journals and magazines, a la Fukuyama, late capitalism and its contingent logic of neoliberalism (ostensibly) reigns supreme, exploiting each…

Abstract

As triumphantly announced in journals and magazines, a la Fukuyama, late capitalism and its contingent logic of neoliberalism (ostensibly) reigns supreme, exploiting each site it encounters with precision. According to this fantasy of capitalism's seamless and ultimate triumph, domination is produced as inevitable, social struggle and revolution, a utopian dream. Yet, what many have seen since the 1990s is that this narrative requires military mobilizations of different kinds (i.e., “the war on terror” has become of late the reason thousands are being killed daily in Afghanistan and Iraq).

Details

Sustainable Feminisms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1439-3

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Book part
Publication date: 26 September 2006

Charles R. Venator Santiago

Giorgio Agamben has used the notion of the state of exception to describe the United States’ detention camps in Cuba. Agamben argues that the use of the state of exception…

Abstract

Giorgio Agamben has used the notion of the state of exception to describe the United States’ detention camps in Cuba. Agamben argues that the use of the state of exception in the U.S. can be traced back to President Lincoln's suspension of the right of habeas corpus during the Civil War. This paper suggests that this argument obscures more relevant legal and political precedents that can be found in U.S. territorial legal history. Moreover, while Agamben's argument obscures conceptual distinctions between a state of emergency and a state of exception, his argument also provides resources that can expose the limits of liberal interpretations of the relationship between the State, the citizen, and the law.

Details

Studies in Law, Politics and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-323-5

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Book part
Publication date: 31 May 2016

Richard Ek and Mekonnen Tesfahuney

In the Western thought tradition, the tourist has not been a subject worthy of intellectual musings and philosophical deliberations. Indeed, the tourist has been portrayed…

Abstract

In the Western thought tradition, the tourist has not been a subject worthy of intellectual musings and philosophical deliberations. Indeed, the tourist has been portrayed in primarily derisive ways. Nietzsche’s remark, “Tourists—they climb mountains like animals, stupid and perspiring, no one has told them that there are beautiful views on the way,” epitomizes the dominant attitude. Why does the figure of the tourist elicit such negative reactions? Do the sentiments perhaps imply something else, or is the tourist a doppelgänger, not anomalous or marginal but normative—a paradigmatic figure? If so, then what can be said of the poetics and politics of the tourist conceptualized as a paradigmatic subject?

Details

Tourism Research Paradigms: Critical and Emergent Knowledges
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-929-4

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Book part
Publication date: 29 February 2008

Harriet Murav

The phrase “e proboscis unum,” a parody on the more familiar Latin phrase that means “out of many one” is taken from the courtroom scene of the 1964 Broadway musical…

Abstract

The phrase “e proboscis unum,” a parody on the more familiar Latin phrase that means “out of many one” is taken from the courtroom scene of the 1964 Broadway musical Hello, Dolly! In this scene, the entire cast is under arrest for disturbing the peace, but the young impoverished clerk Cornelius Hackl takes the opportunity to proclaim his love for the milliner Irene Molloy in the song “It only takes a moment.” The matchmaker Dolly pokes fun at the judge, the figure of authority, by commenting on the appearance of his nose, which she characterizes as “a flaming beacon of justice” and “living symbol of the motto of this great land,” “e proboscis unum.” The bickering, fighting crowd, however, in spite of the parody, are transformed into a community as they witness the young man's declaration. As this episode shows, popular culture reads the law and the courts as making possible a space for personal transformation and transformative sociality. The recent debate about same-sex marriage in Massachusetts shows that both individual persons and the law itself are open to a process of mutual transformation. The chapter uses Hello, Dolly!, the 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, and Shoshana Felman's The Juridical Unconscious to argue that the study of law and literature is crucial in the current academic environment in which many critics, influenced by Giorgio Agamben, argue that law and the courts are merely the space for the exercise of the state's sovereign power to carry out punishment.

Details

Special Issue Law and Literature Reconsidered
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-561-1

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Abstract

Details

The Rise of Hungarian Populism: State Autocracy and the Orbán Regime
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-751-0

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Book part
Publication date: 2 September 2009

Ruth A. Miller

This is an essay that will be misinterpreted. Before I even mention genocidal rights, I want to make clear what my argument is not. First, my argument is not that genocide…

Abstract

This is an essay that will be misinterpreted. Before I even mention genocidal rights, I want to make clear what my argument is not. First, my argument is not that genocide has not happened or does not continue to happen. Second, I will not suggest that genocide is not a serious crime. Finally, I will not try to develop a theory of victimhood – to challenge the centrality of the victim in discussions of genocide. Rather, my interest here will be the uncomfortably intimate relationship between genocidal violence on the one hand and the elaboration of civil, sovereign, and human rights on the other.

Details

Special Issue Revisiting Rights
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-930-1

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Book part
Publication date: 31 May 2016

Margaret Byrne Swain

This chapter engages cosmopolitan and feminist paradigms of knowledge production through their shared ethics of social justice, equality, and diversity, promoting…

Abstract

This chapter engages cosmopolitan and feminist paradigms of knowledge production through their shared ethics of social justice, equality, and diversity, promoting integration into an emerging postdisciplinary focus on embodied cosmopolitanism(s) as a promising way forward in tourism studies. Cosmopolitan paradigms theorize the dialectics of cultural diversity and universal rights, while feminist cosmopolitanism focuses on gender and sexuality equality and difference within this intersection. An embodied approach combines work on “the body” and “situated embodiment” with the cosmopolitan to embrace all human differences and acknowledge that the researchers’ own embodied cosmopolitanism affects research questions, ethics, and praxis toward transformation in research communities and the academy.

Details

Tourism Research Paradigms: Critical and Emergent Knowledges
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-929-4

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 31 May 2016

Kellee Caton

This chapter explores the potential for and value of imagining a humanist paradigm for tourism studies. It explores how the idea of a “paradigm” in tourism can be…

Abstract

This chapter explores the potential for and value of imagining a humanist paradigm for tourism studies. It explores how the idea of a “paradigm” in tourism can be conceptualized, arguing that dominant thoughtlines in other fields regarding the meaning of a paradigm are not sufficient for making sense of this idea in the context of tourism studies. The chapter introduces humanism as a philosophical position in the academy and as a lived cultural practice, explores examples of extant work in tourism studies that might be seen to provide the seeds of a humanist paradigm, and offers reflections on the value of imagining such a paradigm for our field.

Details

Tourism Research Paradigms: Critical and Emergent Knowledges
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-929-4

Keywords

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