Human Rights and the Body is a response to the crisis in human rights, to the very real concern that without a secure foundation for the concept of human rights, their very existence is threatened. While there has been consideration of the discourses of human rights and the way in which the body is written upon, research in linguistics has not yet been fully brought to bear on either human rights or the body. Drawing on legal concepts and aspects of the law of human rights, Mooney aims to provide a universally defensible set of human rights and a foundation, or rather a frame, for them. She argues that the proper frames for human rights are firstly the human body, seen as an index reliant on the natural world, secondly the globe and finally, language. These three frames generate rights to food, water, sleep and shelter, environmental protection and a right against dehumanization. This book is essential reading for researchers and graduate students in the fields of human rights and semiotics of law.
Annabelle Mooney is Reader in Sociolinguistics at the University of Roehampton, UK.
’Bare, embodied life, traditionally conceived of as pre-political and pre-legal, emerges in Annabelle Mooney’s sensitive account as the very origin and index of being human, and hence as the only proper foundation for a truly universal set of basic human rights. The thinking enacted in this brilliant book will be a welcome contribution to the debate about universalism versus cultural relativism in the theory of human rights.’ Louis E. Wolcher, University of Washington, Seattle, USA ’Annabelle Mooney’s book is a landmark in the literature on human rights and our common humanity. Importantly, the main stress here is not so much on rights as on human. The two main reference points are the vulnerable human body and universal human concepts. This is novel and revealing. Highly recommended.’ Anna Wierzbicka, Australian National University, Australia ’By moving away from strictly defined aspects to what Dr Mooney refers to as Bare Human Rights, she helps us to look deeper into the human condition from a perspective of disenfranchisement and de-humanizing the other. Human Rights and the Body is at once thought-provoking and holistic in its approach to human rights. As corporate and political globalization marginalizes more and more of our world’s population, this is a timely text which should be read by those in the fields of world politics, law and business.’ Jack B. Hamlin, National University, USA ’What a bold and inspiring book, refreshingly disrespectful of the traditional boundaries between disciplines. Straddling philosophy, law and linguistics, the book invites us to reflect not only on human rights and the body, but effectively on the human condition itself.’ Gerlinde Mautner, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria