David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Res Publica 10 (2):153-174 (2004)
A number of theorists have tried to resolve the tension between a western-oriented liberal scheme of human rights and an account that accommodates different political systems and constitutional ideals than the liberal one. One important way the tension has been addressed is through a “neutral” or tolerant, notion of human rights, as present in the work of Rawls, Scanlon and Buchanan. In this paper I argue that neutrality cannot by itself explain the difference between rights considered appropriate for liberal states and rights considered to be human rights proper. The central arguments used by neutralist theorists presuppose, rather than justify, this differential treatment. Instead, that difference can be understood only by reference to the purpose of human rights as distinct from the constitutional rights of a liberal state. This requires us to reassess the point and purpose of a theory of international justice, in contrast to justice for a domestic and politically separate society. In the case of a theorist like Rawls, human rights represent guides to the foreign policy of a liberal state, rather than to principles by which all states are expected to abide. That is because of Rawls’ acceptance that no common, authoritative, third-party, institutions capable of imposing duties on all agents uniformly exist or can exist. This also makes his theory inherently conservative about human rights, given that they are simply to act as a guide to which states can be treated as legitimate when it comes to liberal foreign policy: those that possess institutions that can be said to represent a peoples, rather than being imposed through violence. This standard is lower than the ideal set of rights extended to all in a liberal society.
|Keywords||cosmopolitan neutrality human rights international justice international relations Rawls|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Saladin Meckled-Garcia (2008). On the Very Idea of Cosmopolitan Justice: Constructivism and International Agency. Journal of Political Philosophy 16 (3):245-271.
Similar books and articles
Cristian Lupu (2007). Tolerating Nonliberal States: Human Rights as a Grounding Principle? Journal of Global Ethics 3 (2):223 – 235.
Rex Martin (2006). Human Rights. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 2:175-181.
May Sim (2011). Rival Confucian Rights. International Philosophical Quarterly 51 (1):5-22.
Andy Lamey (2012). A Liberal Theory of Asylum. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 11 (3):235-257.
Chris Naticchia (2005). The Law of Peoples: The Old and the New. Journal of Moral Philosophy 2 (3):353-369.
Joseph Raz (2010). Human Rights Without Foundations. In J. Tasioulas & S. Besson (eds.), The Philosphy of International Law. Oxford University Press
Samuel Freeman (2006). The Law of Peoples, Social Cooperation, Human Rights, and Distributive Justice. Social Philosophy and Policy 23 (1):29-68.
Marcus Arvan (2012). Reconceptualizing Human Rights. Journal of Global Ethics 8 (1):91-105.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads40 ( #83,639 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #99,332 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?