The goal of the current proposal is to study how human rights discourse has altered from the centrality of human rights to a discourse of imperialism. One of the chief practical obstacles in the new human rights discourse can be shown by one scholar Bilawal Atwal who states; ‘one of the key criticisms of human rights imperialism is how influential and key states are enforcing foreign-policy with nationalistic agendas under the banner of human rights’ for the author human rights is seen as a vocabulary for modern foreign policy interactions between international agents1. I will argue that many states have pursued the language of human rights to legitimize their acts of imperialism
Much research has been done on paradoxes of human rights before that has embraced new contradiction that provoked the origins and developments of human rights. Moreover, as Austin Sarat proposed that if paradox constitutes human rights that are not entirely good or bad2. This research would discuss that there has emerged a different discourse other than a paradox, in which this discourse can be named the language of human rights and how this language has been used through the 20th century to mobilize forms of imperialism. The language of human rights has been used and manipulated to meet certain countries’ political agenda. The idea of implementing human rights to legitimize imperialism has had a wide attraction throughout the 20th century on how the exercise and practice of this right has been dominated and used to legitimize wrongful acts. The sole purpose of this research is to define how the human rights discourse can be applied and legitimized for colonial objectives. As such, Perugini and Gordon highlight in their book The Human Right to Dominate shows the problems that arise from the human rights system and reveal how human rights are used to legitimize systems of dominations3. This research will also highlight that many scholars have seen human rights discourse as something moral with moral achievements. Hence, human rights are not necessarily principles of equality, freedom, and justice, but a concept used to promote wars and exclude and include who is considered a human with rights.
International human rights are even limited when it comes to the principle of countries’ borders and the principle of citizenship. Even legal aliens residing in a country are restricted in certain rights, like the right to vote for government entities and they can be expelled from said country. This argument can be seen in the case of Israeli settlers in the occupied Palestine territories that have used the language of human rights to legitimize their colonial project, throughout this research I will elaborate on this case study.
2.1 Human Rights Language
It’s imperative to persuade the language of human rights to understand how this discourse has been erected into a political framework. This notion has induced a pragmatic question, which is why we should talk about the language and not specifically about the rights. According to Lora Wildenthal, she suggested that when human rights are demonstrated it will compromise a political language4.The author acknowledges that human rights implementation is not attempting to promote human rights but to legitimize human rights violations. Furthermore, Wildenthal clarifies why she used the phrase language of human rights it’s because the sources of the content of human rights can be seen as a project of reform that many political actors can adjudicate to make their own legal decision. Moreover, that author sees human rights as sweepingly universal rhetoric because human rights criterion can be maneuvered in ‘calling something and human right, or to name something a human rights violation, is to intervene in politics as usual in order to place that example of violence or inequality in new context’5. In other means, the material of human rights language can be contextualized to attempt to present human rights as political agenda. The politicization of human rights has become a tool of reform as Nicola Perugini highlights in his book The Human Right to Dominant he shows that human rights discourse has become a ‘desired resource for those seeking political influence and power, providing its diverse advocates’6. As such, the human rights value has transformed to serve other ends and example can be seen through the George W. Bush administration that applied the language of human rights in their foreign policy for means of declaring wars. Furthermore, the author describes a new millennium in which conservatives around the globe are deploying human rights in the service of domination, also they been altering their ways in strategy by implementing the language of human rights. A pragmatic example can be seen when Amnesty International and other humanitarian organizations helped wedge the war in Afghanistan claiming the Afghani women rights need protection and we should promote these rights through war, however, after the war ended Amnesty held a campaign against the withdrawal of NATO troops from