Human Rights have become a transnational industry that continues to grow and to absorb many funds, even if, in many cases, it is unable to deliver its promises. Is this a new moral entrepreneurship? We invite researchers to submit recent ethnographic papers that discuss this contemporary problem.
As an overall preoccupation, the promotion of Human Rights is a fundamental anthropological legacy and certainly a universal basis for the planning of human futures. As such, a growing number of anthropological studies are reflecting upon the ways Human Rights programs are implemented in zones of conflict, whether in emergent or transitional states. Notwithstanding this, when such programs are translated into practice, they seem to be received with suspicion and even cynicism in some contexts. We would like to invite to our panel reflections from researchers who are trying to build up ethnographies of power / knowledge transfers (often North-South oriented, but not exclusively) aiming at creating or transforming ethical subjects. More specifically, we are interested in studies of training experiences, post-colonial network mobilization, and diverse violence and democratic management processes. It is our intention to bring together critical ethnographies of moral projects - or what could be named moral entrepreneurship - related to the following elements: i) The political conversion of "weaker" states; ii) the transmission of specific modes of being, of believing and of behaving as moral subjects to both individuals and groups; iii) the mixing up of nationalist idioms and transnational technologies in different parts of the world. In sum, we are interested in an ethnographic debate around the complex ways of building up moral institutions and ethical subjects.