In this article, I track the deployment of rights in the vernacular across different subaltern citizen mobilizations in Southern Asia. In order to conceptually capture the ethical dynamism, ideational energy and intellectual innovativeness of this language of rights, I argue that we need yet more complex and different kinds of thinking. I propose the framework of vernacular rights cultures to theorise and empirically document rights politics in ‘most of the world’. Studying vernacular rights cultures, I argue in this article, involves documenting and analyzing the literal and conceptual languages of rights/human rights and the political imaginaries these embody while also paying attention to the justificatory premises that animate and activate the stakes and struggles of rights mobilizations.


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pp. 485-509
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