This collection of twenty essays, written by an array of internationally prestigious scholars, is a ground-breaking work which raises serious and profound concerns about the entrenchment of human rights generally and into UK law in particular. This is the only book on the market to take a sceptical approach to recent developments in human rights law. Written throughout in an engaging and accessible style, this book is essential reading for all those with an interest in law or politics.
The value and legitimacy of using courts to limit the powers of governments in the domain of human rights is a significant ongoing debate. This book provides a critical review that explores the alternative means for protecting and promoting human rights.
A leading theme in this impressive collection of essays in honour of Professor Gudmundur Alfredsson is the advancement of international rules and mechanisms to empower individuals, groups and peoples everywhere to pursue their rights nationally, regionally and internationally. The book deals with the many areas of international law and national policies and practices in which important progress has been made since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for better protection of human rights in the modern world. It equally provides a critical discussion of the difficulties and failures in various areas and probes questions and issues that are pending solution at the national, regional or universal levels.
In this set of three essays, originally presented as the 2005 Hamlyn Lectures, Conor Gearty considers whether human rights can survive the challenges of the war on terror, the revival of political religion, and the steady erosion of the world's natural resources. He also looks deeper than this to consider the fundamental question: How can we tell what human rights are? In his first essay, Gearty asks how the idea of human rights needs to be made to work in our age of relativism, uncertainty and anxiety. In the second, he assesses how the idea of human rights has coped with its incorporation in legal form in the UK Human Rights Act, arguing that the record is much better and more democratic than many human rights enthusiasts allow. In his final essay, Gearty confronts the challenges that may destroy the language of human rights for the generations that follow us.
This volume addresses two important issues surrounding human rights in both law and politics. First, it considers the content and form of human rights. What is and what is not to be counted as a human right, and what does it mean to identify a right as a human right? Secondly it considers the implementation of human rights. What are the most effective and legitimate means of promoting human rights? Both of these issues raise profound moral questions within legal and political philosophy.The contributions within this volume address the conceptual and moral issues deriving from the expansion of rights discourse and explore the variety of institutional mechanisms that may be adopted to protect and further human rights. At the same time, they illustrate the complex relationship between defining human rights and adopting particular modes of institutional implementation.
This book critically examines the contemporary discourses on the nature of 'human rights', their histories, the myths that are embedded in them, and contributes an alternative reading of those histories by placing the concerns and interests of the 'people in struggle and communities of resistance' at centre stage. The work analyses the significance of the United Nations (UN) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and goes on to study the more contemporary issues such as women's struggle to feminize the understanding and practice of human rights, the postmodernist critique of the universal idiom of human rights and, most pertinently for the current world scene, it analyses the impact of globalization on the human rights movement. The volume includes a discussion on the proposed UN norms regarding the human rights responsibilities of multinational corporations and other business entities.
A classic collection of Bertrand Russell’s more controversial works, reaffirming his staunch liberal values, Unpopular Essays is one of Russell’s most characteristic and self-revealing books. Written to "combat... the growth in Dogmatism", on first publication in 1950 it met with critical acclaim and a wide readership and has since become one of his most accessible and popular books.
Raz begins by presenting an analysis of the concept of moral authority. He then develops a detailed explanation of the nature of law and legal systems. Within this framework Raz then examines the areas of legal thought that have been viewed as impregnated with moral values.
In the wake of the events of September 11th, the task of reconciling issues of security with a respect for fundamental human rights has emerged as one of the key challenges facing governments throughout the world. Although the issues raised by the rise of security have been the subject of considerable academic interest, to date much of the debate surrounding the impact of security on human rights has taken place within particular disciplinary confines. In contrast, this collection of essays from leading academics and practitioners in the fields of criminal justice, public law, international law, international relations and legal philosophy offers a genuinely multidisciplinary perspective on the relationship between security and human rights. In addition to exploring how the demands of security might be reconciled with the desire to protect established rights, Security and Human Rights offers a fresh perspective on the broader legal and political challenges that lie ahead as states attempt to control crime, prevent terrorism and protect their citizens.
This volume examines the implications of developments in the science of ethics for philosophical theorizing about moral psychology and human agency. These ten new essays in empirically informed philosophy illuminate such topics as responsibility, the self, and the role in morality of mental states such as desire, emotion, and moral judgement.
Demonstrating that the state of civil liberties and human rights in the United Kingdom are quite perilous, this case study looks at the role of rights vis-à-vis social change and culture. Empirically examining the Human Rights Act (HRA), with asylum serving as the main case study, the book focuses on law in action, based on extensive fieldwork and framed against current events. It also discusses the role of Section 55—a law enacted at the same time as the HRA that was an antithesis of what the HRA promised and which forced thousands of asylum-seekers into destitution. Though Section 55 was eventually defeated, asylum-seekers in the UK are still powerless and marginalized. The book argues that the HRA has proven to be ineffective against illiberal policies and that the development of a culture of rights, as far as asylum is concerned, has stalled. This thoughtful analysis of the use of rights laws to advance social causes presents both potential and pitfalls, making it useful for sociologists, activists, and nongovernmental organizations.
Human rights have become one of the most important moral concepts in global political life over the last 60 years. Charles Beitz, one of the world's leading philosophers, offers a compelling new examination of the idea of a human right.
In the past twenty years Joseph Raz has consolidated his reputation as one of the most acute, inventive, and energetic scholars currently at work in analytic moral and political theory. This new collection of essays forms a representative selection of his most significant contributions to a number of important debates, including the extent of political duty and obligation, and the issue of self-determination. He also examines aspects of the common (and ancient) theme of the relations between law and morality. This volume of essays, available in one volume for the first time, will be essential to legal philosophers and political theorists.
A comparative investigation into the revolution in private law in the era of human rights Scotland and South Africa are mixed jurisdictions, combining features of common law and civil law traditions. Over the last decade a shared feature in both Scotland and South Africa has been a new and intense focus on human rights. In Scotland the European Convention on Human Rights now constitutes an important element in the foundation of all domestic law. Similarly, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, adopted in 1996, has as its cornerstone a Bill of Rights that binds not only the legislature, the executive, the judiciary and all organs of state, but also private parties. Of course the "constitutional moments" from which these documents sprang were very different and the Scottish and South African experience in some aspects could not be more dissimilar. Yet in many respects the parallels are close and compelling. This book, written by experts from both jurisdictions, examines exactly how human-rights provisions influence private law, looking at all branches of the subject. Moreover, it gives a unique perspective by comparing the approach in these kindred legal systems, thus providing a benchmark for both.
The value of work cannot be underestimated in today's world. Work is valuable because productive labour generates goods needed for survival, such as food and housing; goods needed for self-development, such as education and culture; and other material goods that people wish to have in order to live a fulfilling life. A job also generally inspires a sense of achievement, self-esteem and the esteem of others. People develop social relations at work, which can be very important for them. Work brings both material and non-material benefits. There is no doubt that work is a crucial good. Do we have a human right to this good? What is the content of the right? Does it impose a duty on governments to promote full employment? Does it entail an obligation to protect decent work? There is also a question about the right-holders. Do migrants have a right to work, for example? At the same time many people would rather not work. What kind of right is this, if many people do not want to have it? The chapters of this book address the uncertainty and controversy that surround the right to work both in theoretical scholarship and in policymaking. They discuss the philosophical underpinnings of the right to work, and its development in human rights law at national level (in jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, France and the United States) and international level (in the context of the United Nations, the European Social Charter, the International Labour Organization, theEuropean Convention on Human Rights and other legal orders).
Thomas Pogge tries to explain how most of the population of this planet can excuse world poverty. A mere one or two % of the wealth of the richer nations could help in eradicating much of the poverty but there's a slim chance of that happening.
The Skeptical Environmentalist challenges widely held beliefs that the environmental situation is getting worse and worse. The author, himself a former member of Greenpeace, is critical of the way in which many environmental organisations make selective and misleading use of the scientific evidence. Using the best available statistical information from internationally recognised research institutes, Bjørn Lomborg systematically examines a range of major environmental problems that feature prominently in headline news across the world. His arguments are presented in non-technical, accessible language and are carefully backed up by over 2500 footnotes allowing readers to check sources for themselves. Concluding that there are more reasons for optimism than pessimism, Bjørn Lomborg stresses the need for clear-headed prioritisation of resources to tackle real, not imagined problems. The Skeptical Environmentalist offers readers a non-partisan stocktaking exercise that serves as a useful corrective to the more alarmist accounts favoured by campaign groups and the media.
The threats to human rights posed by non-state actors are of increasing concern. Human rights activists increasingly address the activity of multinational corporations, the policies of international organizations such as the World Bank and the World Trade Organization, and international crimes committed by entities such as armed opposition groups and terrorists. This book presents an approach to human rights that goes beyond the traditional focus on states and outlines the human rights obligations of non-state actors. Furthermore, it addresses some of the ways in which these entities can be held legally accountable for their actions in various jurisdictions. The political debate concerning the appropriateness of expanding human rights scrutiny to non-state actors is discussed and dissected. For some, extending human rights into these spheres trivializes human rights and allows abusive governments to distract us from ongoing violations. For others such an extension is essential if human rights are properly to address the current concerns of women and workers. The main focus of the book, however, is on the legal obligations of non-state actors. The book discusses how developments in the fields of international responsibility and international criminal law have implications for building a framework for the human rights obligations of non-state actors in international law. In turn these international developments have drawn on the changing ways in which human rights are implemented in national law. A selection of national jurisdictions, including the United States, South Africa and the United Kingdom are examined with regard to the application of human rights law to non-state actors. The book's final part includes suggestions with regard to understanding the parameters of the human rights obligations of non-state actors. Key to understanding the legal obligations of non-state actors are concepts such as dignity and democracy. While neither concept can unravel the dilemmas involved in the application of human rights law to non-state actors, a better understanding of the tensions surrounding these concepts can help us to understand what is at stake.
"We are living through the endtimes of the civilizing mission. The ineffectual International Criminal Court and its disastrous first prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, along with the failure in Syria of the Responsibility to Protect are the latest pieces of evidence not of transient misfortunes but of fatal structural defects in international humanism. Whether it is the increase in deadly attacks on aid workers, the torture and 'disappearing' of al-Qaeda suspects by American officials, the flouting of international law by states such as Sri Lanka and Sudan, or the shambles of the Khmer Rouge tribunal in Phnom Penh, the prospect of one world under secular human rights law is receding. What seemed like a dawn is in fact a sunset. The foundations of universal liberal norms and global governance are crumbling."—from The Endtimes of Human Rights In a book that is at once passionate and provocative, Stephen Hopgood argues, against the conventional wisdom, that the idea of universal human rights has become not only ill adapted to current realities but also overambitious and unresponsive. A shift in the global balance of power away from the United States further undermines the foundations on which the global human rights regime is based. American decline exposes the contradictions, hypocrisies and weaknesses behind the attempt to enforce this regime around the world and opens the way for resurgent religious and sovereign actors to challenge human rights. Historically, Hopgood writes, universal humanist norms inspired a sense of secular religiosity among the new middle classes of a rapidly modernizing Europe. Human rights were the product of a particular worldview (Western European and Christian) and specific historical moments (humanitarianism in the nineteenth century, the aftermath of the Holocaust). They were an antidote to a troubling contradiction—the coexistence of a belief in progress with horrifying violence and growing inequality. The obsolescence of that founding purpose in the modern globalized world has, Hopgood asserts, transformed the institutions created to perform it, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and recently the International Criminal Court, into self-perpetuating structures of intermittent power and authority that mask their lack of democratic legitimacy and systematic ineffectiveness. At their best, they provide relief in extraordinary situations of great distress; otherwise they are serving up a mixture of false hope and unaccountability sustained by “human rights” as a global brand. The Endtimes of Human Rights is sure to be controversial. Hopgood makes a plea for a new understanding of where hope lies for human rights, a plea that mourns the promise but rejects the reality of universalism in favor of a less predictable encounter with the diverse realities of today’s multipolar world.
"Savvy and insightful." --New York Times Technology has become the architect of our intimacies. Online, we fall prey to the illusion of companionship, gathering thousands of Twitter and Facebook friends, and confusing tweets and wall posts with authentic communication. But this relentless connection leads to a deep solitude. MIT professor Sherry Turkle argues that as technology ramps up, our emotional lives ramp down. Based on hundreds of interviews and with a new introduction taking us to the present day, Alone Together describes changing, unsettling relationships between friends, lovers, and families.