Handbook on Human Rights in China
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Handbook on Human Rights in China

Edited by Sarah Biddulph and Joshua Rosenzweig

This Handbook gives a wide-ranging account of the theory and practice of human rights in China, viewed against international standards, and China’s international engagements around human rights. The Handbook is organised into the following sections: contested meanings; international dimensions; economic and social rights; civil and political rights; rights in/action and access to justice; political dimensions of human rights in Greater China; and new frontiers.
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Chapter 3: Human rights and the political system

Eva Pils

Abstract

This chapter discusses the Chinese authorities’ changing human rights rhetoric and practices around human rights, with a focus on the post-Mao era’s discourse of ‘human rights with Chinese characteristics’. It argues that an influential view, according to which human rights are politically neutral, has accommodated this discourse and muted human rights-based criticism of the Chinese political system and its systemic obstacles to better human rights protection. On this basis, it calls for a re-politicization of our understanding of human rights.

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