The so-called inherence view of human rights (e.g., “inherent dignity” and “inalienable”) is said to provide human rights with universality and “truth.” These inherence words have been much referenced, cited, and repeated in and by other human rights and related documents and advocates in the sixty-plus years since their initial inscription. In this article I consider this repetition as performative iteration that works to maintain the “truth” of an aspiring global morality that at its core is both groundless and politically constraining. It will be argued that the performative nature of human rights language renders it a moral language with a conceptual proclivity for supporting rather than resisting power.

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