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Human rights, property and the search for ‘worlds other’*

Anna Grear

Keywords: human rights; property; critique; ambivalence; exclusion v excludability; ‘worlds other’; environment; eco-humane subjectivities

While some accounts of rights and property paradigms see property as an inherent incident of a colonizing form of human rights law and discourse, others draw out the contradictions between them, suggesting that human rights and property have opposing impulses towards inclusion and exclusion respectively. While not rejecting the insights of either of these positions, the author argues that a fundamental ambivalence lies at the heart of human rights law and discourse demonstrating both oppressive and emancipatory potential. This ambivalence is, the author argues, also internal to the Western property concept – a claim facilitating a renewed emphasis upon property's inclusory potential as an institutional foundation for a more eco-humane and vulnerability-responsive ordering of legal relations.

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