Category Archives: Publications

New book chapter

My contribution to the book “Människa, stat, utopi. En antologi om det möjligas konst” (2015) is entitled “Human rights and ambivalence of the utopia. Between violence and escapism” (in Swedish). The chapter scrutinizes utopian dimensions of the view of human rights as a realistic non-political utopia (as suggested by Jürgen Habermas).

 

I argue that in order to reduce the risk of human rights becoming either a powerless or a violent utopia, we need to recognize their political dimension. Such recognition, however, is not identical with value nihilism. On the contrary, the understanding of human rights as politics offers new possibilities to reclaim the normative potential of human rights.

 

 

“Power and Legitimacy – Challenges from Russia” – now available in paperback

power_and_legitimacy_-_challenges_from_russia-19020552-frntOur book “Power and Legitimacy – Challenges from Russia” is now available in paperback.
 
The book sheds new light on the continuing debate within political thought as to what constitutes power, and what distinguishes legitimate from illegitimate power. It does so by considering the experience of Russia, a polity where experiences of the legitimacy of power and the collapse of power offer a contrast to Western experiences on which most political theory, formulated in the West, is based.

“Human Rights as Ethics, Politics, and Law” – now published

My new book “Human Rights as Ethics, Politics, and Law” has just been published by Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. It is the final result of my project “Human Rights as Ethics, Politics, and Law.”

 

The book offers a critical approach to the connections between the law, politics, and morality as they figure in human rights discourse. It argues that human rights must be understood – ethically, politically, and legally – through the prism of reasonable skepticism towards the legitimacy of contemporary institutions for the protection of human rights. The colonial legacy of human rights, the lack of transparent principles for dealing with conflicting rights, and the counterproductive overemphasis upon the importance of legal instruments are considered as offering serious challenges to the lasting legitimacy of human rights. These challenges are analyzed by means of selected human rights-related cases as well as theoretical discussion.

 

You can purchase “Human Rights as Ethics, Politics, and Law” here  or contact me directly.

My contribution to “Med blicken österut: Hyllningsskrift till Per-Arne Bodin”

My contribution entitled “Frälser skönheten världen? En reflektion över den ryska teologins särart” investigates one of the most interesting tensions in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s heritage – his view of beauty as both redemptive (“The Idiot”) and destructive (“The Brothers Karamazov”) power. In the late writings of Dostoevsky there is a notion of “Russian beauty”. How to interpret it? In what sense is it redemptive and when does it become destructive? I propose an interpretation of Dostoevsky’s view of the ambivalence of beauty and develop a criticism of the Russian theological tradition that, very much like Dostoevsky, underestimates the risks of the “esthetization” of Christianity.
 
“Med blicken österut: Hyllningsskrift till Per-Arne Bodin” is available at Artos, Adlibris and Bokus.

“Jewish Thought, Utopia, and Revolution” – now published

Jewish UtopiaJewish Thought, Utopia, and Revolution (eds. Elena Namli, Jayne Svenungsson and Alana M. Vincent) has just been published by Rodopi. See Table of Contents.
 
In response to the grim realities of the present world, Jewish thought has not tended to retreat into eschatological fantasy, but rather to project utopian visions precisely on to the present moment, envisioning redemptions that are concrete, immanent, and necessarily political in nature. In difficult times and through shifting historical contexts, the messianic hope in the Jewish tradition has functioned as a political vision: the dream of a peaceful kingdom, of a country to return to, or of a leader who will administer justice among the nations. Against this background, it is unsurprising that Jewish messianism in modern times has been transposed, and lives on in secular political movements and ideologies.
 
The purpose of this book is to contribute to the deeper understanding of the relationship between Jewish thought, utopia, and revolution, by taking a fresh look at its historical and religious roots. We approach the issue from several perspectives, with differences of opinion presented both in regard to what Jewish tradition is, and how to regard utopia and revolution. These notions are multifaceted, comprising aspects such as political messianism, religious renewal, Zionism, and different forms of Marxist and Anarchistic movements.
 
Jewish Thought, Utopia, and Revolution can be purchased from Rodopi and is also available on Bokus, Adlibris, Barnes&NobleAmazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.