Call for submissions: Theoria and Praxis issue on the idea of human rights

Theoria and Praxis journal

Human rights have become a dominant political discourse in the 21st century. Its impact has been felt across the globe and has become irretrievably bound up with issues of development, social justice, racial and gender equality, and sexual orientation. The purpose of this Theoria and Praxis issue is to ask a series of questions meant to interrogate the very foundations of the notion of human rights.

Topics open to participants include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • What are the intellectual groundings of human rights?
  • What is its connection to the history of liberalism and liberal democracy?
  • Are human rights in contradiction with the economic, social and political structures of society?
  • What is the fate of human rights in the “developed world?”
  • Can human rights provide a legal and philosophical framework for the “development” of societies?
  • Are human rights a problematic category? That is, do they distract and draw attention away from the harsh realities of politics, economics and cultural difference? Do they, in other words, reflect a dominating Western discourse? Are they a continuation of an imperial project designed to surreptitiously inculcate a set of hegemonic practices and institutional frameworks?

Contributors are also asked to think of human rights as open to a fundamental philosophical and social scientific questioning. That is, are human rights justified by and through human nature? Are they a remnant of a religious worldview? Or do they represent, in light of the recent anniversary of United Nations Charter of Human Rights, the advent of a new form of governance and politics that is meant to deeply impact and change the nature of societies in the 21st century and beyond?

Submissions are not to be confined to these questions alone. The journal will seriously consider all papers it receives. Manuscripts shall be subject to a double-blind reading, ensuring the integrity of the peer-review process. All submissions should be between 6,000 and 12,000 words, and include abstracts of no more than 200 words (in Microsoft Word file format).

Contributors should submit their papers and proposals, and all relevant inquiries, to Theoria and Praxis at by April 30.

Theoria and Praxis is edited by Paul A. Brienza (BA ’92, BA ’95, MA ’96, PhD ’07) of York’s School of Public Policy & Administration in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, and York graduate student Yasar Bukan (BA ’10, MA ’12). For more information, visit Theoria and Praxis.