Michael Ignatieff draws on his extensive experience as a writer and commentator on world affairs to present a penetrating account of the successes, failures, and prospects of the humanrights revolution. Since the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of HumanRights in 1948, this revolution has brought the world moral progress and broken the nation-state's monopoly on the conduct of international affairs. But it has also faced challenges. Ignatieff argues that humanrights activists (...) have rightly drawn criticism from Asia, the Islamic world, and within the West itself for being overambitious and unwilling to accept limits. It is now time, he writes, for activists to embrace a more modest agenda and to reestablish the balance between the rights of states and the rights of citizens.Ignatieff begins by examining the politics of humanrights, assessing when it is appropriate to use the fact of humanrights abuse to justify intervention in other countries. He then explores the ideas that underpin humanrights, warning that humanrights must not become an idolatry. In the spirit of Isaiah Berlin, he argues that humanrights can command universal assent only if they are designed to protect and enhance the capacity of individuals to lead the lives they wish. By embracing this approach and recognizing that state sovereignty is the best guarantee against chaos, Ignatieff concludes, Western nations will have a better chance of extending the real progress of the past fifty years. Throughout, Ignatieff balances idealism with a sure sense of practical reality earned from his years of travel in zones of war and political turmoil around the globe.Based on the Tanner Lectures that Ignatieff delivered at Princeton University's Center for Human Values in 2000, the book includes two chapters by Ignatieff, an introduction by Amy Gutmann, comments by four leading scholars--K. Anthony Appiah, David A. Hollinger, Thomas W. Laqueur, and Diane F. Orentlicher--and a response by Ignatieff. (shrink)
What should we make of claims by members of other groups to have moralities different from our own? HumanRights in Chinese Thought gives an extended answer to this question in the first study of its kind. It integrates a full account of the development of Chinese rights discourse - reaching back to important, though neglected, origins of that discourse in 17th and 18th century Confucianism - with philosophical consideration of how various communities should respond to contemporary (...) Chinese claims about the uniqueness of their humanrights concepts. The book elaborates a plausible kind of moral pluralism and demonstrates that Chinese ideas of humanrights do indeed have distinctive characteristics, but it nonetheless argues for the importance and promise of cross-cultural moral engagement. (shrink)
This essay examines the relationship between climate change and humanrights. It argues that climate change is unjust, in part, because it jeopardizes several core rights – including the right to life, the right to food and the right to health. It then argues that adopting a humanrights framework has six implications for climate policies. To give some examples, it argues that this helps us to understand the concept of “dangerous anthropogenic interference” (UNFCCC, Article (...) 2). In addition to this, it argues that if we adopt a humanrights framework then any climate policies should also honour humanrights, and so mitigation policies, for example, should not compromise people’s enjoyment of their humanrights. A third implication, I argue, is that in addition to duties of mitigation and adaptation there will also be – if rights are violated – duties of compensation too. (shrink)
Humanrights have a rich life in the world around us. Political rhetoric pays tribute to them, or scorns them. Citizens and activists strive for them. The law enshrines them. And they live inside us too. For many of us, humanrights form part of how we understand the world and what must (or must not) be done within it. -/- The ubiquity of humanrights raises questions for the philosopher. If we want to (...) understand these rights, where do we look? As a set of moral norms, it is tempting to think they can be grasped strictly from the armchair, say, by appeal to moral intuition. But what, if anything, can that kind of inquiry tell us about the humanrights of contemporary politics, law, and civil society — that is, humanrights as we ordinarily know them? -/- This volume brings together a distinguished, interdisciplinary group of scholars to address philosophical questions raised by the many facets of humanrights: moral, legal, political, and historical. Its original chapters, each accompanied by a critical commentary, explore topics including: the purpose and methods of a philosophical theory of humanrights; the "Orthodox-Political" debate; the relevance of history to philosophy; the relationship between humanrights morality and law; and the value of political critiques of humanrights. (shrink)
From the diverse work and often competing insights of women's humanrights activists, Brooke Ackerly has written a feminist and a universal theory of humanrights that bridges the relativists' concerns about universalizing from particulars and the activists' commitment to justice. Unlike universal theories that rely on shared commitments to divine authority or to an 'enlightened' way of reasoning, Ackerly's theory relies on rigorous methodological attention to difference and disagreement. She sets out humanrights (...) as at once a research ethic, a tool for criticism of injustice and a call to recognize our obligations to promote justice through our actions. This book will be of great interest to political theorists, feminist and gender studies scholars and researchers of social movements. (shrink)
Despite being a seemingly straightforward moral concept (that all humans have certain rights by virtue of their humanity), humanrights is a contested concept in theory and practice. Theorists debate (among other things) the meaning of “rights,” the priority of rights, whether collective rights are universal, the foundations of rights, and whether there are universal humanrights at all. These debates are of relatively greater interest to theorists; however, a given meaning (...) of “humanrights” implies a corresponding theory of change and through that can be an important guide to the practice of humanrights activists and their funders. In practice, any organization can describe their work as “rights based.” This article clarifies the practices of humanrights activists and their funders that are consistent with a theory of humanrights as (1) universal, (2) interdependent across groups and categories of people, (3) indivisible across issue areas and claims, and (4) measured by the enjoyment of rights. (shrink)
The work of Henri Bergson, the foremost French philosopher of the early twentieth century, is not usually explored for its political dimensions. Indeed, Bergson is best known for his writings on time, evolution, and creativity. This book concentrates instead on his political philosophy—and especially on his late masterpiece, _The Two Sources of Morality and Religion_—from which Alexandre Lefebvre develops an original approach to humanrights. We tend to think of humanrights as the urgent international project (...) of protecting all people everywhere from harm. Bergson shows us that humanrights can also serve as a medium of personal transformation and self-care. For Bergson, the main purpose of humanrights is to initiate all human beings into love. Forging connections between humanrights scholarship and philosophy as self-care, Lefebvre uses humanrights to channel the whole of Bergson's philosophy. (shrink)
What grounds humanrights? How do we determine that something is a genuine human right? This chapter offers a new answer: human beings have humanrights to the fundamental conditions for pursuing a good life. The fundamental conditions for pursuing a good life are certain goods, capacities, and options that human beings qua human beings need whatever else they qua individuals might need in order to pursue a characteristically good human life. (...) This chapter explains how this Fundamental Conditions Approach is better than James Griffin’s Agency Approach as well as Martha Nussbaum’s Central Capabilities Approach. It also shows how it can be compatible with the increasingly popular Political Conceptions of humanrights defended by John Rawls, Charles Beitz, and Joseph Raz. (shrink)
In the age of Big Data, companies and governments are increasingly using algorithms to inform hiring decisions, employee management, policing, credit scoring, insurance pricing, and many more aspects of our lives. Artificial intelligence systems can help us make evidence-driven, efficient decisions, but can also confront us with unjustified, discriminatory decisions wrongly assumed to be accurate because they are made automatically and quantitatively. It is becoming evident that these technological developments are consequential to people’s fundamental humanrights. Despite increasing (...) attention to these urgent challenges in recent years, technical solutions to these complex socio-ethical problems are often developed without empirical study of societal context and the critical input of societal stakeholders who are impacted by the technology. On the other hand, calls for more ethically and socially aware AI often fail to provide answers for how to proceed beyond stressing the importance of transparency, explainability, and fairness. Bridging these socio-technical gaps and the deep divide between abstract value language and design requirements is essential to facilitate nuanced, context-dependent design choices that will support moral and social values. In this paper, we bridge this divide through the framework of Design for Values, drawing on methodologies of Value Sensitive Design and Participatory Design to present a roadmap for proactively engaging societal stakeholders to translate fundamental humanrights into context-dependent design requirements through a structured, inclusive, and transparent process. (shrink)
Using the accounts of Gewirth and Griffin as examples, the article criticises accounts of humanrights as those are understood in humanrights practices, which regard them as rights all human beings have in virtue of their humanity. Instead it suggests that (with Rawls) humanrights set the limits to the sovereignty of the state, but criticises Rawls conflation of sovereignty with legitimate authority. The resulting conception takes humanrights, like (...) other rights, to be contingent on social conditions, and in particular on the nature of the international system. (shrink)
This paper explores the connections between humanrights, human dignity, and power. The idea of human dignity is omnipresent in humanrights discourse, but its meaning and point is not always clear. It is standardly used in two ways, to refer to a normative status of persons that makes their treatment in terms of humanrights a proper response, and a social condition of persons in which their humanrights are (...) fulfilled. This paper pursues three tasks. First, it provides an analysis of the content and an interpretation of the role of the idea of human dignity in current humanrights discourse. The interpretation includes a pluralist view of human interests and dignity that avoids a narrow focus on rational agency. Second, this paper characterizes the two aspects of human dignity in terms of capabilities. Certain general human capabilities are among the facts that ground status-dignity, and the presence of certain more specific capabilities constitutes condition-dignity. Finally, this paper explores how the pursuit of humanrights and human dignity links to distributions and uses of power. Since capabilities are a form of power, and humanrights are in part aimed at respecting and promoting capabilities, humanrights involve empowerment. Exploring the connections between humanrights, capabilities, and empowerment provides resources to defend controversial humanrights such as the right to democratic political participation, and to respond to worries about the feasibility of their fulfillment. This paper also argues that empowerment must be coupled with solidaristic concern in order to respond to unavoidable facts of social dependency and vulnerability. (shrink)
Humanrights debates neglect social rights. This paper defends one fundamentally important, but largely unacknowledged social human right. The right is both a condition for and a constitutive part of a minimally decent human life. Indeed, protection of this right is necessary to secure many less controversial humanrights. The right in question is the human right against social deprivation. In this context, ‘social deprivation’ refers not to poverty, but to genuine, interpersonal, (...) social deprivation as a persisting lack of minimally adequate opportunities for decent human contact and social inclusion. Such deprivation is endured not only in arenas of institutional segregation by prisoners and patients held in long-term solitary confinement and quarantine, but also by persons who suffer less organised forms of persistent social deprivation. The human right against social deprivation can be fleshed out both as a civil and political right and as a socio-economic right. The defence for it faces objections familiar to humanrights theory such as undue burdensomeness, unclaimability, and infeasibility, as well as some less familiar objections such as illiberality, intolerability, and ideals of the family. All of these objections can be answered. (shrink)
Early defenders of the Universal Declaration of HumanRights invoked species hierarchy: human beings are owed rights because of our discontinuity with and superiority to animals. Subsequent defenders avoided species supremacism, appealing instead to conditions of embodied subjectivity and corporeal vulnerability we share with animals. In the past decade, however, supremacism has returned in work of the new ‘dignitarians’ who argue that humanrights are grounded in dignity, and that human dignity requires according (...) humans a higher status than animals. Against the dignitarians, I argue that defending humanrights on the backs of animals is philosophically suspect and politically self-defeating. (shrink)
What makes something a human right? What is the relationship between the moral foundations of humanrights and humanrights law? What are the difficulties of appealing to humanrights? This book offers the first comprehensive survey of current thinking on the philosophical foundations of humanrights. Divided into four parts, this book focuses firstly on the moral grounds of humanrights, for example in our dignity, agency, interests or (...) needs. Secondly, it looks at the implications that different moral perspectives on humanrights bear for humanrights law and politics. Thirdly, it discusses specific and topical humanrights including freedom of expression and religion, security, health and more controversial rights such as a human right to subsistence. The final part discusses nuanced critical and reformative views on humanrights from feminist, Kantian and relativist perspectives among others. The essays represent new and canonical research by leading scholars in the field. Each section is structured as a set of essays and replies, offering a comprehensive analysis of different positions within the debate in question. The introduction from the editors will guide researchers and students navigating the diversity of views on the philosophical foundations of humanrights. (shrink)
In 2016, the United Nation’s General Assembly adopted a non-binding resolution regarding ‘The Promotion, Protection and Enjoyment of HumanRights on the Internet’. At the heart of this resolution is the UN’s concern that ‘rights that people have offline must also be protected online.’ While the UN thus recognises the importance of the Internet, it does so problematically selectively by focusing on protecting existing offline rights online. I argue instead that Internet access is itself a moral (...)human right that requires that everyone has unmonitored and uncensored access to this global medium, which should be publicly provided free of charge for those unable to afford it. Rather than being a mere luxury, Internet access should be considered a universal entitlement because it is necessary for people to be able to lead minimally decent lives. Accepting this claim transforms our conception of the Internet from a technology to that of a basic right. (shrink)
One of the nation's leading military ethicists, Louis P. Pojman argues that globalism and cosmopolitanism motivate the need for greater international cooperation based on enforceable international law. The best way to realize the promises of globalism and cogent moral arguments for cosmopolitanism, Pojman contends, is through the establishment of a World Government.
Why should all human beings have certain rights simply by virtue of being human? One justification is an appeal to religious authority. However, in increasingly secular societies this approach has its limits. An alternative answer is that humanrights are justified through human dignity. This paper argues that humanrights and human dignity are better separated for three reasons. First, the justification paradox: the concept of human dignity does not solve (...) the justification problem for humanrights but rather aggravates it in secular societies. Second, the Kantian cul-de-sac: if humanrights were based on Kant’s concept of dignity rather than theist grounds, such rights would lose their universal validity. Third, hazard by association: human dignity is nowadays more controversial than the concept of humanrights, especially given unresolved tensions between aspirational dignity and inviolable dignity. In conclusion, proponents of universal humanrights will fare better with alternative frameworks to justify humanrights rather than relying on the concept of dignity. (shrink)
Humanrights imply duties. The question is, duties for whom? Without a well-defined scheme for assigning duties correlative to humanrights, these rights remain illusory. This paper develops core elements of a general scheme of duty assignment and studies the implications for corporations. A key distinction in such an assignment is between unconditional and conditional duties. Unconditional duties apply to every agent regardless of the conduct of others. Conditional duties reflect a division of moral labour (...) where different tasks are assigned to specific agents, whose default activates back-up duties of other agents. Corporations face unconditional duties to not directly violate the rights of others, and not undermine the division of moral labour through practices such as tax evasion or corruption. Being unconditional, these duties cannot be deviated from by reference to the misconduct of competitors. In addition, corporate conditional duties to protect, promote or fulfil rights can be activated if the state and other designated duty-bearers fail to discharge their duties. (shrink)
The consequentialist project for humanrights -- Exceptions to libertarian natural rights -- The main principle -- What is well-being? What is equity? -- The two deepest mysteries in moral philosophy -- Security rights -- Epistemological foundations for the priority of autonomy rights -- The millian epistemological argument for autonomy rights -- Property rights, contract rights, and other economic rights -- Democratic rights -- Equity rights -- The most reliable (...) judgment standard for weak paternalism -- Liberty rights and privacy rights -- Clarifications and responses to objections -- Conclusion. (shrink)
"Human dignity" has been enshrined in international agreements and national constitutions as a fundamental human right. The World Medical Association calls on physicians to respect human dignity and to discharge their duties with dignity. And yet human dignity is a term--like love, hope, and justice--that is intuitively grasped but never clearly defined. Some ethicists and bioethicists dismiss it; other thinkers point to its use in the service of particular ideologies. In this book, Michael Barilan offers an (...) urgently needed, nonideological, and thorough conceptual clarification of human dignity and humanrights, relating these ideas to current issues in ethics, law, and bioethics. Combining social history, history of ideas, moral theology, applied ethics, and political theory, Barilan tells the story of human dignity as a background moral ethos to humanrights. After setting the problem in its scholarly context, he offers a hermeneutics of the formative texts on Imago Dei; provides a philosophical explication of the value of human dignity and of vulnerability; presents a comprehensive theory of humanrights from a natural, humanist perspective; explores issues of moral status; and examines the value of responsibility as a link between virtue ethics and human dignity and rights. Barilan accompanies his theoretical claim with numerous practical illustrations, linking his theory to such issues in bioethics as end-of-life care, cloning, abortion, torture, treatment of the mentally incapacitated, the right to health care, the human organ market, disability and notions of difference, and privacy, highlighting many relevant legal aspects in constitutional and humanitarian law. (shrink)
The ‘Guiding Principles on Business and HumanRights’ (Principles) that provide guidance for the implementation of the United Nations’ ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ framework (Framework) will probably succeed in making humanrights matters more customary in corporate management procedures. They are likely to contribute to higher levels of accountability and awareness within corporations in respect of the negative impact of business activities on humanrights. However, we identify tensions between the idea that the respect (...) of humanrights is a perfect moral duty for corporations and the Principle’s ‘humanrights due diligence’ requirement. We argue that the effectiveness of the ‘humanrights due diligence’ is in many respects dependent upon the moral commitment of corporations. The Principles leave room for an instrumental or strategic implementation of due diligence, which in some cases could result in a depreciation of the fundamental norms they seek to promote. We reveal some limits of pragmatic approaches to coping with business-related humanrights abuses. As these limits become more apparent, not only does the case for further progress in international and extraterritorial humanrights law become more compelling, but so too does the argument for a more forceful discussion on the moral foundations of humanrights duties for corporations. (shrink)
Can we respond to injustices in the world in ways that do more than just address their consequences? In this book, Brooke A. Ackerly argues that what to do about injustice is not just an ethical or moral question, but a political question about assuming responsibility for injustice. Ultimately, Just Responsibility offers a theory of global injustice and political responsibility that can guide action.
International business faces a host of difficult moral conflicts. It is tempting to think that these conflicts can be morally resolved if we gained full knowledge of the situations, were rational enough, and were sufficiently objective. This paper explores the view that there are situations in which people in business must confront the possibility that they must compromise some of their important principles or values in order to protect other ones. One particularly interesting case that captures this kind of situation (...) is that of Google and its operations in China. In this paper, I examine the situation Google faces as part of the larger issue of moral compromise and integrity in business. Though I look at Google, this paper is just as much about the underlying or background views Google faces that are at work in business ethics. In the process, I argue the following: First, the framework Google has used to respond to criticisms of its actions does not successfully or obviously address the important ethical issues it faces. Second, an alternative ethical account can be presented that better addresses these ethical and humanrights questions. However, this different framework brings the issue of moral compromise to the fore. This is an approach filled with dangers, particularly since it is widely held that one ought never to compromise one’s moral principles. Nevertheless, I wish to propose that there may be a place for moral compromise in business under certain conditions, which I attempt to specify. (shrink)
This article addresses the so-called to humanrights. Focusing specifically on the work of Onora O'Neill, the article challenges two important aspects of her version of this objection. First: its narrowness. O'Neill understands the claimability of a right to depend on the identification of its duty-bearers. But there is good reason to think that the claimability of a right depends on more than just that, which makes abstract (and not welfare) rights the most natural target of her (...) objection (section II). After examining whether we might address this reformulated version of O'Neill's objection by appealing to the specificity afforded to humanrights in international, regional and domestic law (in section III), the article challenges a second important feature of that objection by raising doubts about whether claimability is a necessary feature of rights at all (section IV). Finally, the article reflects more generally on the role of abstraction in the theory and practice of humanrights (section V). In sum, by allaying claimability-based concerns about abstract rights, and by illustrating some of the positive functions of abstraction in rights discourse, the article hopes to show that abstract rights are not only theoretically coherent but also useful and important. (shrink)
In this paper, I engage with the radical critique of humanrights moralism. Radical critics argue that: humanrights are myopic ; humanrights are demobilising ; humanrights are paternalistic ; and humanrights are monopolistic. I argue that critics offer important insights into the limits of humanrights as a language of social justice. However, critics err insofar as they imply that humanrights are (...) irredeemably corrupted and they under-estimate the subversive potential of the moral ideas that underpin the discourse. Building on the idea of humanrights as claims, I set out the politicising features of humanrights as they are deployed in a practical context of disagreement, conflict, and imbalances of power. I illustrate this discussion with reference to the contemporary struggles of irregular migrants. (shrink)
Why should all human beings have certain rights simply by virtue of being human? One justification is an appeal to religious authority. However, in increasingly secular societies this approach has its limits. An alternative answer is that humanrights are justified through human dignity. This paper argues that humanrights and human dignity are better separated for three reasons. First, the justification paradox: the concept of human dignity does not solve (...) the justification problem for humanrights but rather aggravates it in secular societies. Second, the Kantian cul-de-sac: if humanrights were based on Kant's concept of dignity rather than theist grounds, such rights would lose their universal validity. Third, hazard by association: human dignity is nowadays more controversial than the concept of humanrights, especially given unresolved tensions between aspirational dignity and inviolable dignity. In conclusion, proponents of universal humanrights will fare better with alternative frameworks to justify humanrights rather than relying on the concept of dignity. (shrink)
The current legal and political practice of humanrights invokes entitlements to freely chosen work, to decent working conditions, and to form and join labor unions. Despite the importance of these rights, they remain under-explored in the philosophical literature on humanrights. This article offers a systematic and constructive discussion of them. First, it surveys the content and current relevance of the labor rights stated in the most important documents of the human (...) class='Hi'>rights practice. Second, it gives a moral defense of these rights arguing that their support involves an appropriate response to important human interests and to the human dignity of workers. Finally, it explores central normative issues about the relation between labor rights and human dignity. It responds to some objections about the importance of work, explains why labor humanrights may not exhaust the demands of dignity regarding labor and arbitrates a common tension between independence and solidarity within our practical affirmation of human dignity. (shrink)
Do humanrights make sense? They have been central to post-war political life, and our picture of moral self. But this is being eroded, Holt argues, and with it the viability of humanrights discourse. The pre-social individual and its mental armoury is being challenged by an increasing awareness of genealogical forces in which the self is less a lone claimant than an exponent or rebel. Using Wittgenstein's philosophy, this book considers the liberal position on (...) class='Hi'>humanrights, along with the communitarian and pragmatic attacks, and challenges the intelligibility of each from the perspective of what it is to be a language user. Wittgenstein, Politics and HumanRights argues that moral relations are not dead; but that their life resides with the on-going relations of selves governed by universal principles. (shrink)
This paper argues that widely accepted understanding of the respective responsibilities of business and government in the post war industrialized world can be traced back to a tacit social contract that emerged following the second world war. The effect of this contract was to assign responsibility for generating wealth to business and responsibility for ensuring the equitable sharing of wealth to governments. Without question, this arrangement has resulted in substantial improvements in the quality of life in the industrialized world in (...) the intervening period. I argue that with advance of economic globalization and the growing power and influence of multi national corporations, this division of responsibilities is not longer viable or defensible. What is needed, fifty years after the United Nations Declaration of HumanRights, is a new social contract that shares responsibilities for humanrights and related ethical responsibilities in a manner more in keeping with the vision captured by the post war Declaration. I conclude by suggesting some reasons for thinking that a new social contract may be emerging. (shrink)
Humanrights have become an important ideal in current times, yet our age has witnessed more violations of humanrights than any previous less enlightened one. This book explores the historical and theoretical dimensions of this paradox. Divided into two parts, the first section offers an alternative history of natural law, in which natural rights are represented as the eternal human struggle to resist opression and to fight for a society in which people are (...) no longer degraded or despised. At the time of their birth in the 18th Century and again in the popular uprisings of the last decade, humanrights became the dominant critique of law and society. The radical rhetoric of rights and its apparently endless expansive potential has led to its adoption by governments and individuals alike seeking to justify their actions on moral grounds and has undermined its radical edge. Part Two examines the philosophical logic of rights. The classical critiques of Kant, Burke, Hegel and Marx illuminate traditional aproaches to the concept of humanrights. The work of Heidegger, Sartre and psychoanalysis is used to deconstruct the metaphisical essentialism of bothe universalists and cultural relativists. Finally, through a consideration of the ethics of otherness, and with reference to recent humanrights violations, it is argued that the end of humanrights is to judge law and politics from a moral stand point which both transcends the present and is historically relevant. (shrink)
Personal narratives have become one of the most potent vehicles for advancing humanrights claims across the world. HumanRights and Narrated Lives explores what happens when autobiographical narratives are produced, received, and circulated in the field of humanrights. It asks how personal narratives emerge in local settings how international rights discourse enables and constrains individual and collective subjectivities in narration how personal narratives circulate and take on new meanings in new contexts (...) and how and under what conditions they feed into, affect, and are affected by the reorganization of politics in post-cold war, postcolonial, globalizing humanrights contexts. (shrink)
An illustrative comparison of humanrights in 1948 and the contemporary period, attempting to gauge the impact of globalization on changes in the content of humanrights (e.g., collective rights, women's rights, right to a healthy environment), major abusers and guarantors of humanrights (e.g., state actors, transnational corporations, social movements), and alternative justifications of humanrights (e.g., pragmatic agreement, moral intuitionism, overlapping consensus, cross-cultural dialogue).
Poverty, Agency, and HumanRights collects thirteen new essays that analyze how human agency relates to poverty and humanrights respectively as well as how agency mediates issues concerning poverty and social and economic humanrights. No other collection of philosophical papers focuses on the diverse ways poverty impacts the agency of the poor, the reasons why poverty alleviation schemes should also promote the agency of beneficiaries, and the fitness of the human (...)rights regime to secure both economic development and free agency. The book is divided into four parts. Part 1 considers the diverse meanings of poverty both from the standpoint of the poor and from that of the relatively well-off. Part 2 examines morally appropriate responses to poverty on the part of persons who are better-off and powerful institutions. Part 3 identifies economic development strategies that secure the agency of the beneficiaries. Part 4 addresses the constraints poverty imposes on agency in the context of biomedical research, migration for work, and trafficking in persons. (shrink)
"These essays make a splendid book. Ignatieff's lectures are engaging and vigorous; they also combine some rather striking ideas with savvy perceptions about actual domestic and international politics.
Universal HumanRights brings new clarity to the important and highly contested concept of universal humanrights. This collection of essays explores the foundations of universal humanrights in four sections devoted to their nature, application, enforcement, and limits, concluding that shared rights help to constitute a universal human community, which supports local customs and separate state sovereignty. The eleven contributors to this volume demonstrate from their very different perspectives how human (...)rights can help to bring moral order to an otherwise divided world. (shrink)
This volume collects Allen Buchanan's previously published articles with a focus on ethics and international law, specifically with regard to humanrights, the legitimacy of international institutions, and the ethics of force across borders. The work fits together tightly in its systematic interconnections, and collectively it makes the case for a holistic and systematic approach to issues that are at the forefront of current discussions in political and legal philosophy- issues that have traditionally been seen as separate.
This article contextualises current debates over humanrights and transnational corporations. More specifically, we begin by first providing the background to John Ruggie's appointment as 'Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the issue of humanrights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises'. Second, we provide a brief discussion of the rise of transnational corporations, and of their growing importance in terms of global governance. Third, we introduce the notion of humanrights, and note (...) some difficulties associated therewith. Fourth, we refer to Ruggie's scholarly work on 'embedded liberalism', the 'global public domain' and 'social constructivism'. Following this, we refer to the other five papers contained in this "Journal of Business Ethics" special issue, 'Spheres of Influence/Spheres of Responsibility: Multinational Corporations and HumanRights', and consider some of the potential obstacles to Ruggie's recent suggestion that a 'new consensus' has formed, or is forming, around his 'Protect, Respect and Remedy' framework. We conclude by raising questions regarding the processes of consensus-building around, and the operationalisation of, Ruggie's 'Protect, Respect and Remedy' framework. (shrink)
This paper examines the idea of humanrights, and how they should be justified. It begins by reviewing Peter Jones?s claim that the purpose of humanrights is to allow people from different cultural backgrounds to live together as equals, and suggests that this by itself provides too slender a basis. Instead it proposes that humanrights should be grounded on human needs. Three difficulties with this proposal are considered. The first is the (...) problem of whether needs are sufficiently objective for this purpose, to which it responds by drawing a distinction between human needs proper and societal needs. The second is the problem of overshoot: human needs are more expansive than humanrights. It responds to this by arguing that where needs conflict, we make trade-offs before specifying the optimum set of humanrights. The third is the problem of undershoot: needs cannot be used to ground civil and political rights. Here it suggests that some of these rights can be grounded directly in needs, others can be justified instrumentally, and yet others grounded in the human need for recognition. Finally the paper returns to Jones, and asks which approach to humanrights is better able to justify them within both liberal and non-liberal cultures. (shrink)
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 humanrights. 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 humanrights 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 humanrights that dominates both normative debates about humanrights and current humanrights 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 humanrights 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 humanrights 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. (shrink)
Diogenes, Ahead of Print. This article aims to compare the Turkish and Chinese reception of the “humanrights” term, which enjoyed wide currency across the globe after the end of the Cold War. During the 1990s, as the global humanrights discourse was embraced by dissidents in Turkey and China, the state elites remained skeptical of this concept, which was often perceived as a tool of Western imperialism. Unlike nationalists, Muslim and Confucianist conservatives saw some merit (...) in the term “humanrights” and discussed ways to appropriate it in their local contexts. In China and Turkey, “humanrights” was often instrumental in promoting collective identities during the 1990s. Although the term’s original emphasis on the individual somewhat disappeared in these countries, its embrace by various groups demonstrates that “humanrights” discourse resonates with non-Western audiences. (shrink)