Cristina Lafont
Northwestern University
In a recent article Allan Buchanan and Robert Keohane defend the view that one of the necessary conditions for the legitimacy of global governance institutions such as the WTO and the IMF is that they respect basic human rights. I certainly agree that setting the minimal threshold of moral acceptability any lower would be entirely unreasonable. But, unfortunately, the view that global governance institutions have human rights obligations is far from uncontroversial. These institutions themselves go to great lengths to deny such a claim. Their official stance finds strong normative support in the state-centric conception of human rights that dominates both normative debates about human rights and current human rights practice. In this article I challenge some of the normative assumptions behind the state-centric conception in order to defend a pluralist conception that ascribes human rights obligations not only to states but also to non-state actors such as global governance institutions. After briefly analyzing some of the proposals currently under discussion about how to legally entrench the obligation to respect human rights in those institutions, I will defend the feasibility of those proposals against the objection that their implementation is incompatible with the current state-system and thus it would require the creation of a world state.
Keywords Global governance institutions   Human rights   Human rights due diligence   Legitimacy   State-centric conception of human rights
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References found in this work BETA

The Problem of Global Justice.Thomas Nagel - 2005 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 33 (2):113-147.
On Human Rights.James Griffin - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
The Idea of Human Rights.Charles R. Beitz - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
The Law of Peoples.John Rawls - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203):246-253.
Extra Rempublicam Nulla Justitia?Joshua Cohen & Charles Sabel - 2006 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 34 (2):147–175.

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