Pablo Gilabert
Concordia University
Is democracy a human right? There is a growing consensus within international legal and political practice that the answer is “Yes.” However, some philosophers doubt that we should see democracy as a human right. In this paper I respond to the most systematic challenge presented so far, which was recently offered by Joshua Cohen. His challenge is directed to the view that democracy is a human right, not to the view that democracy is part of what justice demands. It is instructive because it forces us to consider important questions about the nature and justification of human rights, including the putative human right to democracy. There is a tendency to see every claim of justice as a human right, and Cohen presses us to face the risk that this slip may occur in the case of democracy. Thus my aim is not simply to refute Cohen’s arguments but to engage the questions he forcefully and helpfully puts on the table. I start in section 2 by analyzing Cohen’s account of human rights. In section 3 I defend the human right to democracy against his challenge. I conclude in section 4 by articulating some reasons for the claim that democracy is a human right that mobilize and elaborate on some of Cohen’s own key premises.
Keywords democracy  human rights  global justice
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References found in this work BETA

The Law of Peoples.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
World Poverty and Human Rights.Thomas Pogge - 2002 - Ethics and International Affairs 19 (1):1-7.
The Law of Peoples.John Rawls - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203):246-253.
The Idea of Human Rights.Charles R. Beitz - 2009 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Reflections on Human Rights and Power.Pablo Gilabert - 2018 - In Adam Etinson (ed.), Human Rights: Moral or Political? Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 375-399.
Democracy Under Siege.Osvaldo Guariglia - 2012 - Revista Latinoamericana de Filosofía Política 1 (1).

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