Tactics rather than laws
in Critical theory and human rights
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This chapter describes a series of regulatory “tactics” for the conducting of conduct with respect to improving human rights performance, and maps the contours of what it calls the “governmentalisation of global human rights governance”. It draws on the work of Miller and Rose to describe this as a phenomenon of “governing human rights at a distance”. It demonstrates that this consists of three broad and overlapping categories of tactics: auditing and other methods borrowed from financial management and accounting; the pluralisation and atomisation of governing functions; and the specification of new subjectivities. Taken together, these result in the creation of a regulatory sphere in which actors are continually enjoined to monitor themselves and others in light of human rights obligations or “responsibilities”; in which the governing of human rights is dispersed between public authorities, NGOs and other civil society actors, businesses and international organisations; and in which this entire range of actors, and even human individuals themselves, are re-conceived as being “human rights governors” in their own right.

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