Human Rights and the Reinvention of Freedom: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Human Rights and the Reinvention of Freedom

1st Edition

By Nick Stevenson


170 pages

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Hardback: 9781138823099
pub: 2016-09-22
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315742236
pub: 2016-10-04
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This volume seeks to propose a reinvention of freedom under contemporary conditions of globalization, cross-border mobility, and neo-liberal dominance. There are currently two predominant myths circulating about freedom. The first is that in a global age growing numbers of citizens are less concerned with freedom than they are with security.  Secondly, there is the presumption that freedom only refers to market freedom and consumerism, implying that the ideas of choice and consumption are interchangeable with ideas of freedom.

Stevenson argues that while these arguments are significant, they are deeply misleading. More ‘authentic’ ideas of freedom such as self-realisation, participating in politics and seeking a meaningful life of self-reflection have not been entirely displaced but have instead become reinvented in our global times. The cries of freedom can still be heard in a multitude of places from the Arab Spring to the Occupy Movement and from the protests against European austerity to the current popularity of human rights. Stevenson also argues that the idea of freedom has become increasingly mobile in our interconnected and transnational society. The spaces and places of civil society are more complex in this global age, pushing ideas of freedom far beyond the usual arena of national politics.

This volume brings together a diverse range of cultural interpretations in respect of freedom related to the idea of the commons, cosmopolitanism, contemporary documentary cinema and the history of jazz music. Exploring the ways in which notions of freedom are being re-made within the context of the present, and looking more precisely at the current threats to freedom, it will be of interest to students and scholars of globalization, human rights and cultural sociology.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Human Rights and Freedom

1. Human Rights, Freedom and Humanity

2. Human Rights and the Cosmopolitan Imagination: Questions of Human Dignity and Cultural Identity.

3. The ‘Making’ and ‘Doing’ of Global Civil Society: E.P.Thompson and Cosmopolitanism

4. The Human Right to Schooling (or Education) in the Age of Global Neoliberalism

5.Jazz as Cultural Modernity: Consumerism, Neoliberalism and Cosmopolitan Freedom

6.Human Rights and Documentary Cinema: A Democratic Pedagogic Practice in the Time of Globalisation

7.Human Rights, Post-Capitalism and the Right to be Human: The Rise of the Commons

Conclusion: The Human Right to be Human


About the Author

Nick Stevenson is Reader in Cultural Sociology in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Nottingham, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Global and Transnational Politics

The core theme of the series is ‘global connectivities’ and the implications and outcomes of global and transnational processes in history and in the contemporary world. The series aims to promote greater theoretical innovation and inter-disciplinarity in the academic study of global transformations. The understanding of globalization that it employs accords centrality to forms and processes of political, social, cultural and economic connectivity (and disconnectivity) and relations between the global and the local. The series’ editors see the multi-disciplinary exploration of ‘global connectivities’ as contributing, not only to an understanding of the nature and direction of current global and transnational transformations, but also to recasting the intellectual agenda of the social sciences.

The series aims to publish high quality work by leading and emerging scholars critically engaging with key issues in the study of global and transnational politics. It will comprise research monographs, edited collections and advanced textbooks for scholars, researchers, policy analysts, and students.


Series Editor: Sandra Halperin

Founding Series Editors: Sandra Halperin & Chris Rumford.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General