Harnessing the Full Potential of Intersectionality Theory in International Human Rights Law: Lessons from Disabled Children’s Right to Education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Despite recent efforts to capitalise on intersectionality, the field of international human rights law has not been able to harness the full potential of intersectionality theory. Intersectionality has often been interpreted in the field, qua norms of equality and anti discrimination, as a theory of identities. It is thus divorced from the structural analysis of identity-categories that is at the heart of intersectionality theory’s theoretical and methodological framework. This misreading of intersectionality plays into the way in which it is invoked in international human rights law as simply focusing on identity-categories instead of the structures of disadvantage associated with one or several of them simultaneously. This chapter aims to refocus on a systems-based understanding of intersectionality, with the aim of illuminating the lived reality and experience of human rights between different groups of people. This systems-based understanding of intersectionality involves balancing the attention to identities with an inquiry into the relationships of power that underpin those identities. The chapter thereby excavates what maybe the actual significance of intersectionality theory for the purposes of human rights,especially beyond equality and anti discrimination law, which is often limited to focusing on identity-categories.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternationality and Human Rights Law
EditorsShreya Atrey, Peter Dunne
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherHart Publishing
Chapter2
Pages39-58
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781509935291 , 9781509942251, 9781509935321, 9781509935314
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Oct 2020

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