The Human Right to Dominate: A Conversation with Neve Gordon

Thursday, November 9, 4:30 pm

*Location change* Regenstein Library Room 122B | 1100 E 57th Street | RSVP

At the turn of the new millennium, a new phenomenon has emerged: conservatives who just decades before had rejected the expanding human rights culture began to embrace human rights in order to advance their own political goals. Professor Neve Gordon (Ben-Gurion University) accounts for how human rights—generally conceived as a counterhegemonic instrument for righting historical injustices—are being deployed to subjugate the weak and legitimize domination.

Neve Gordon is a Leverhulme visiting professor at SOAS, University of London, and a professor of politics at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and a public intellectual and activist. As a scholar, he writes about international law, human rights, the ethics of violence, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and political theory. His articles and opinion pieces appear frequently in the Nation, Washington Post, Guardian, Al Jazeera, and Huffington Post. His most recent piece is “A Hero Turned Villain: Aung San Suu Kyi and the Annihilation of Myanmar’s Rohingya.”

Gordon is the author or coauthor of several books, including most recently The Human Right to Dominate (with Nicola Perugini, Oxford, 2015). Gordon has also edited two volumes, one on torture in Israel (with Ruchama Marton) and the other on marginalized perspectives on human rights. He has published over thirty articles in academic journals and is currently working on a new book project dealing with the history and politics of human shields. Gordon has been a member at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, Brown University, and the University of Michigan.

Gordon’s current research focuses on the history and politics of human shielding. He is interested in the role of international law in producing an ethics of violence and how the production of new legal subjects such as human shields, unlawful combatants, and enemies killed in action facilitate the construction of an ethics that is conducive to specific actors.

Cosponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

This event is a part of the 20th Anniversary Speaker Series