Honors Theses


Ernesto Rosen Velásquez, Ph.D. / Miranda Hallett, Ph.D.



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Honors Thesis


The end of the Cold War solidified modern human rights’ dependency on neoliberalism. Neoliberal capitalism fosters universal commodification, hyper-individualism, and a standard of excess. A consequence of these developments is that some persons of marginalized populations turn to crime as a means of achieving basic human rights. To particularize, the realization of the self as a rights-holding subject emerges from the brutalization and subsequent de-realization of the other. Furthermore, justifications of such actions may be coherent within the modern human rights discourse. This thesis is contextualized by the historical dynamics and present-day observations of El Salvador, which I take to represent broader global trends in the development of human rights into a discourse of apparently coherent brutality. Given this contradiction, I compare the peril and potential of reclaiming human rights as a popular discourse.

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Undergraduate research