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Human Rights and Political Economy: Addressing the Legal Construction of Poverty and Rights Deprivation


There has been a recent resurgence in scholarly work concerned with the economics of human rights. This article builds on this work to develop a conceptual framework of human rights and political economy. It provides a theoretical basis for the turn to human rights and economics, rooted in the increasing micro-management of the economy by liberal states that can constitute the state planning of material distribution within the state. It demonstrates that human rights principles do apply to economic questions and elaborates methods and practices to realize the potential of rights in this arena. The article applies these methods and conceptualizations to state obligations and business responsibilities to excavate current limits and potentials of rights and contextualizes the project within left critiques of rights and “claim right” perspectives.

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