The Anatomy of an Institutionalized Emergency: Preventive Detention and Personal Liberty in India

Despite many indications of an emerging transnational consensus on the scope of human rights law, fundamental disagreements persist. These disagreements are, in many respects, structured around important cleavages in the international community such as: North/South, East/West, and capitalist/socialist. Whether these cleavages are understood as cultural, economic, or political, international lawyers must develop a better understanding of the specific practices that generate divergent interpretations of human rights standards. Without such an understanding, these factions seem to underscore an irreducibly political conception of human rights. Indeed, the prospects of a global “community of law” turn on the degree to which fundamental differences can be expressed and negotiated within and across institutional frameworks generated by partial consensus.