When Illiberals Embrace Human Rights

While some contemporary populist leaders of Europe have been quick to shun human rights institutions, other populist governments in Europe and Latin America openly embrace the concept of human rights; some even accept the practice of courts reviewing domestic legislation under human rights treaties. The illiberal uses of human rights law point us both to the symbolic power human rights has in Europe and Latin America, as well as to the limits of human rights doctrine as an instrument for the construction of a particular liberal political order. The study will use empirical case studies of legal battles in Europe and Latin America to explore whether or not human rights can remain coherent and legally effective when unmoored from liberal political thought and practice.