Webinar with Paul O’Connell (SOAS University of London)
There is a wealth of evidence which attests to the growth and deepening of economic inequality around the world, both within and between countries. There is a corresponding literature addressing the negative impact of economic inequality on the entire corpus of human rights. However, in both cases the dominant perspectives elide the root causes of economic inequality. They fail to take account of how contemporary imperialism entrenches and reproduces a system of global inequality. This paper will draw on recent scholarship on contemporary imperialism to demonstrate the central, structural role it plays in producing inequality, with all the human rights undermining implications this has. Further, it will be argued that any account of inequality and human rights that does not foreground imperialism, ends up superficially addressing symptoms, while leaving the core problem untouched.
Paul O’Connell teaches law at SOAS University of London. He researches and writes in the areas of Public Law, Human Rights and Legal Theory. He has published several papers on the relationship between international political economy and human rights, and on Marxist approaches to law, state and rights.