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On coming to terms: how European human rights law imagines the human condition

Trotter, Sarah Jane (2018) On coming to terms: how European human rights law imagines the human condition. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis offers an account of how European human rights law – the law of the European Convention on Human Rights (‘the ECHR’) – imagines the human condition. It argues that the ECHR legal order is an order that is constituted upon, and structured by, a vision of ‘the individual’, and that to understand European human rights law we need to understand the mode of being – the vision of life – that underpins this order. The argument I make is that a series of assumptions about the human condition structure European human rights law, in that they underpin the six things that European human rights law relies on for its significance: its interpretive vision; its modes of reasoning; its integration of values; its expression of a vision of emancipation; its therapeutic potential; and its form of accountability. Assumptions are made about the way in which ‘the individual’ develops an identity in European human rights law, about her need for a sense of continuity across time, about her need for recognition by others, about her agency in managing reality and her capacity to detach from reality, and about the way in which she is attached to material circumstances and is also able to extend herself beyond material circumstances. I argue that these assumptions are broadly oriented towards a notion of individual continuity through time and that they are underpinned by a vision of the human condition in which the fundamental question to be negotiated is a question of coming to terms – a question of coming into the terms of European human rights law and of coming to terms with all that which must be brought to terms according to European human rights law.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2018 Sarah Jane Trotter
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
K Law > K Law (General)
Sets: Departments > Law
Supervisor: Chalmers, Damian and Möller, Kai

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