Nelly Kfir, Adriana Kemp
Critical Sociology, 2015 (pp. 1-20). IF: 0.552 (Sociology and Political Science SJR) Q2
Publication year: 2015

This article introduces the distinction between ‘routine’ and ‘emergency’ times in human rights struggles. Based on ethnography of Israeli non-governmental organizations (NGOs) advocating on migrant workers’ rights, we show how this emergent distinction manifests in the social dynamics of human rights struggles. Thus, whereas in their daily work, human rights NGOs follow the logic of the bureaucratic system in a slow, Sisyphean manner, in times of perceived ‘emergency’, opportunities open up for a faster pace of action and for breaking routine repertoires. In bringing socio-temporal configurations to bear on human rights struggles, we show how activists’ experiencing of events as ‘emergency’ was a catalyst for the transformation of social mobilization, positing that both NGOs and social movements, however distinct from each other, are in fact related to different ‘times’ of human rights struggles.