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.