The Human Right to Dominate

Nicola Perugini, Neve Gordon

Research output: Book/ReportBook


At the turn of the millennium, a new phenomenon emerged: conservatives, who just decades before had rejected the expanding human rights culture, began to embrace human rights in order to advance their political goals.

In this book, Nicola Perugini and Neve Gordon account for how human rights — generally conceived as a counter-hegemonic instrument for righting historical injustices — are being deployed to further subjugate the weak and legitimize domination. Using Israel/Palestine as its main case study, The Human Right to Dominate describes the establishment of settler NGOs that appropriate human rights to dispossess indigenous Palestinians and military think-tanks that rationalize lethal violence by invoking human rights. The book underscores the increasing convergences between human rights NGOs, security agencies, settler organizations, and extreme right nationalists, showing how political actors of different stripes champion the dissemination of human rights and mirror each other's political strategies.

Indeed, Perugini and Gordon demonstrate the multifaceted role that this discourse is currently playing in the international arena: on the one hand, human rights have become the lingua franca of global moral speak, while on the other, they have become reconstrued as a tool for enhancing domination.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages216
ISBN (Print)9780199365012, 9780199365005
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2015

Publication series

NameOxford Studies in Culture and Politics
PublisherOxford University Press


  • human rights
  • international humanitarian law
  • international human rights law
  • Israel
  • Palestine
  • postcolonialism
  • political violence


Dive into the research topics of 'The Human Right to Dominate'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this