Bondoc, Makonen E. G.

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This thesis argues that the role of the United Nations’ (UN) human rights regime is to constitute all peoples into a specific universal standard of civilization, which this thesis identifies as the UN meta-civilization. Meta-civilization is defined as the UN’s colonial and imperial impulse to legislate, implement and enforce human rights in ways which are meant to uniquely ‘civilize’. Analysis of the doctrinal and theoretical foundations of international law illustrates the historical and contemporary power dynamics that enable the UN to ‘universalize’ human rights. As a case in point, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAoC) political dialogue highlights the UN’s constitution of the meta-civilization. The case study proves the UN meta-civilization is hegemonic in its claim to universality. In the end, this analysis demonstrates that more consideration about the appropriate utility of human rights within the theories and practices of international relations and international law is required.



Human Rights, International Law, International Relations, United Nations, Civilization, Universalism, Eurocentrism, Power/Knowledge, Terrorism, United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, Legal Positivism, Self-Determination, Postcolonial Thought