This essay traces the relationship between activists and academics involved in the campaign for "women's rights as human rights" as a case study of the relationship between different classes of what I call "knowledge professionals" self-consciously acting in a transnational domain. The puzzle that animates this essay is the following: how was it that at the very moment at which a critique of "rights" and a reimagination of rights as "rights talk" proved to be such fertile ground for academic scholarship did the same "rights" prove to be an equally fertile ground for activist networking and lobbying activities? The paper answers this question with respect to the work of self-reflexivity in creating a "virtual sociality of rights."

Date of this Version

October 2000