Sanja Dragić

PhD candidate in International Law, Graduate Institute, Geneva

Junior Visiting Fellow
(March – July 2019)


On Post-Backlash Human Rights Law

The current international human rights law structure is facing waves of dissent against it. Backlashes targeting agents and tools of human rights promotion can also have a norm-generative function. This project enquires into some of the new norms being created, as well as into the values and motivations that underpin them.


On the Concept of the ‘Human Rights Backlash’

Usage of the terms ‘backlash’ and the ‘human rights backlash’ has become common in contemporary academic and non-academic circles. In international law and international relations scholarship, the word ‘backlash’ has been used to refer to, among other things, the denunciation of human rights treaties, the de facto closing-down of human rights courts, the ‘band of outlaw’ states ‘on the wrong side of history’, shrinking space for civil society, and the ‘citizen initiative for a just world economy’. Thus, the term ‘backlash’ has been used in reference to very different concepts - from social movements to the behavior of states - and with both positive and negative connotations.
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