Contesting Human Rights
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Contesting Human Rights

Norms, Institutions and Practice

Edited by Alison Brysk and Michael Stohl

Illustrated with case studies from across the globe, Contesting Human Rights provides an innovative approach to human rights, and examines the barriers and changing pathways to the full realisation of these rights. Presenting a thorough proposal for the reframing of human rights, the volume suggests that new opportunities at, and below, the state level, and creative pathways of global governance can help reconstruct human rights in the face of modern challenges.
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Chapter 3: Tensions in rights: navigating emerging contradictions in the LGBT rights revolution

Phillip M. Ayoub


With the rejection of claims made by LGBT movements in many states, and amidst a global politics marred by exclusionary populism and nationalism, LGBT rights are increasingly contradicted on the world stage. This chapter explores the tensions between the transnational diffusion of LGBT rights and a “traditional values” politics championed by an emerging global opposition – as well as LGBT activists’ instrumental reframing and translation of “traditional values” and “family values” norms as a direct response. This chapter analyzes how LGBT rights advocacy, within distinct contexts, innovatively addresses these imagined contradictions in rights. It is this process that comes into play when contested rights clash with the arguments of rival movements and global counter norms. Faced with competing claims about new norms governing sexuality – especially those that problematically conflate sexual rights with the external imposition of “Western” power over the “vulnerable” states – local LGBT activists respond with the practice of translation.

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