The space of human rights: the right to the city

Garcia Elena, F., 2020. The space of human rights: the right to the city. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Abstract

This research analyses rights practices from a spatial perspective and argues that space is a conditioning element for the experience of justice. Whilst the right to the city acknowledges the central role of space for rights fulfilment, the human rights system is yet to fully integrate spatial perspectives. The aim of this research is to demonstrate that space is a constitutive element of individual and collective rights experiences and make a case for the integration of spatial approaches in official human rights frameworks. Besides, it argues that the right to the city is an instrument for the integration of civil society in space management and its empowerment in the politics of space and rights. Therefore, this thesis presents the right to the city and human rights as complementary rights practices that interact through space. This idea is justified by using a constructivist approach to rights, understanding them as the outcome of the reproduction of sociocultural practices around situations of injustice. In this regard, the research argues that the production of space shapes experiences of justice of inhabiting communities, their rights struggles and practices. Therefore, from a social constructivist standpoint, space is a constitutive element of the experience of rights and the production of rights discourses.

The investigation is based on case-study research in the city of Barrancabermeja (Colombia). Barrancabermeja has traditionally been a contested space in the dynamics of the Colombian civil war due to the regional extraction of oil and gas and the accumulation of industrial capital (hydrocarbons refinery and related infrastructures). The research addresses spatial processes and features and local rights practices to understand their interrelation. It concludes that the characteristics of Barrancabermeja’s space has shaped rights practices from viewpoints ranging from terrorism to environmental degradation. Additionally, highlights that rights struggles were understood by local communities following the right to the city principles but communicated using human rights language. Therefore, it showcases the interaction of human rights and the right to the city practices empirically.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Garcia Elena, F.
Date: December 2020
Rights: This research and related work is the intellectual property of the author. It is possible to copy and/or reference up to 5% of the text for research, non-commercial or private purposes. Should someone choose to use any of the information gathered in this study, it must be fully referenced (quoting the author, university, title and page number). Further queries around the use of this work for any purpose should be directed to the owner of Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 21 Mar 2022 17:02
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2022 17:02
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/45938

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