Human rights and the development of a twenty-first century peace architecture: unintended consequences?

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The ‘long peace’ of the last twenty-five years has linked various forms of intervention—from development to peacebuilding and humanitarian intervention—with human rights. This ‘interventionary system/order’ model has premised its legitimate authority on expanded versions of human rights, connected to liberal frameworks of democracy, rule of law, and capitalism in order to connect peace more closely with justice. Human rights offer a tactical way forward for those interested in conflict resolution, but this has led to unintended consequences. Unless conceptions of rights are continually expanded as new power structures and inequalities are uncovered and challenged, philosophical and material matters of distributive and historical justice will remain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-63
Number of pages19
JournalAustralian Journal of International Affairs
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I would like to dedicate this article to the memory of Professor Nick Rengger of the University of St Andrews, and Professor Chandra Sriram of the University of East London, both of whom contributed to my thinking about these topics enormously. Thanks also to several anonymous reviewers for their very helpful comments. All errors are the author’s responsibility.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Australian Institute of International Affairs.


  • Peace
  • global justice
  • human rights
  • liberal peace


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