Presenter/Author Information

Jackie Smith, University of PittsburghFollow

Start Date

8-11-2017 3:30 PM

Keywords

Local Activism, Urban Policy, Globalization

Abstract

Human rights are under increased threat as the world faces economic insecurity, financial volatility, climate change, and the rise of right-wing populist movements. At a time global interdependence demands more intensive cooperation among national governments to address economic and environmental crises, nationalist tendencies are polarizing politics within and among countries.

Although news headlines have focused on the rise of exclusionary and racist movements, there is evidence of significant popular mobilization around more inclusive human rights claims. Because these movements challenge basic elements of the capitalist system, they get less traction in electoral contests and remain marginal to mainstream media and scholarly discourse.

This paper explores the emergence of translocal networks of human rights advocates articulating place-based human rights claims in communities around the world. Amid new threats to human rights from far-right advances such as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, demands for “the right to the city” are rising as people seek to reconcile the tensions between global and local politics and between economic globalization and community survival.

I provide illustrations from this emergent right-to-the-city movement and consider its implications for our understanding of the evolution of global human rights.

Comments

This paper was presented at the American Sociological Association conference in summer 2017.

 
Nov 8th, 3:30 PM

Localizing Human Rights in Response to Global Urban Crises and Right-Wing Populism

Human rights are under increased threat as the world faces economic insecurity, financial volatility, climate change, and the rise of right-wing populist movements. At a time global interdependence demands more intensive cooperation among national governments to address economic and environmental crises, nationalist tendencies are polarizing politics within and among countries.

Although news headlines have focused on the rise of exclusionary and racist movements, there is evidence of significant popular mobilization around more inclusive human rights claims. Because these movements challenge basic elements of the capitalist system, they get less traction in electoral contests and remain marginal to mainstream media and scholarly discourse.

This paper explores the emergence of translocal networks of human rights advocates articulating place-based human rights claims in communities around the world. Amid new threats to human rights from far-right advances such as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, demands for “the right to the city” are rising as people seek to reconcile the tensions between global and local politics and between economic globalization and community survival.

I provide illustrations from this emergent right-to-the-city movement and consider its implications for our understanding of the evolution of global human rights.