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Human Rights

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Human Rights

Old Problems, New Possibilities

David Kinley , Wojciech Sadurski , Kevin Walton

Edited by David Kinley, Professor of Human Rights Law, Wojciech Sadurski, Challis Professor of Jurisprudence and Kevin Walton, University of Sydney, Australia

2013 272 pp Hardback 978 1 78100 274 2
ebook isbn 978 1 78100 275 9

Hardback £83.00 on-line price £74.70


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‘This volume will make a lasting contribution to how we address the dilemmas that human rights theory and practice encounter – for instance, between democracy and human rights, negative and positive rights, or individual and group rights. Philosophers have become indispensable to lawyers' arguments about why human rights matter, and how they must be interpreted: this book superbly illustrates why.’
– Olivier De Schutter, University of Louvain, Belgium and United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food

Contributors: T. Campbell, P. Emerton, D. Ivison, D. Kinley, E. MacDonald, S. Marks, J. Mowbray, T. Pogge, W. Sadurski, J. Waldron, N. Walker, K. Walton

Further information

Reflecting on the various dichotomies through which human rights have traditionally been understood, this book takes account of recent developments in both theories of rights and in international human rights law to present new ways of thinking about some long-standing problems.

Leading legal and political philosophers, social theorists and scholars of international law discuss traditional dilemmas and taxonomies in human rights theory, engaging with contemporary scholarship and current practice. The book examines various tensions, such as those between legal and moral rights, positive and negative rights, universal and particular rights, and group and individual rights.

Encouraging new thinking about conventional understandings of human rights, this book will strongly appeal to international lawyers, legal and political philosophers, as well as graduate students and upper-level undergraduate students in law and philosophy.

Full table of contents


David Kinley, Wojciech Sadurski and Kevin Walton

1. Human Rights: Moral or Legal?
Tom Campbell

2. Human Rights as Moral Rights
Kevin Walton

3. Are We Violating the Human Rights of the World’s Poor?
Thomas Pogge

4. Human Rights and Political Agency: On Pogge’s Analysis of Human Rights Violations Today
Duncan Ivison

5. Universalism and Particularism in Human Rights: Trade-off or Productive Tension?
Neil Walker

6. The Particularism of Human Rights Discourse
Patrick Emerton

7. Democracy and Human Rights: Good Companions
Jeremy Waldron

8. Recasting the Relationship: Human Rights, Democracy and Constitutionalism as Material Topoi of Legitimacy
Euan MacDonald

9. Autonomy, Identity and Self-knowledge: A New ‘Solution’ to the Liberal-Communitarian ‘Problem’?
Jacqueline Mowbray

10. Four Human Rights Myths
Susan Marks

11. Where Hope Meets Expectation between Human Rights Idealism and Pragmatism
David Kinley


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