The Idea of Human Rights

Four Inquiries

The Idea of Human Rights

Inspired by a 1988 trip to El Salvador, Michael J. Perry's new book is a personal and scholarly exploration of the idea of human rights. Perry is one of our nation's leading authorities on the relation of morality, including religious morality, to politics and law. He seeks, in this book, to disentangle the complex idea of human rights by way of four probing and interrelated essays. * The initial essay, which is animated by Perry's skepticism about the capacity of any secular morality to offer a coherent account of the idea of human rights, suggests that the first part of the idea of human rights--the premise that every human being is "sacred" or "inviolable"--is inescapably religious. * Responding to recent criticism of "rights talk", Perry explicates, in his second essay, the meaning and value of talk about human rights. * In his third essay, Perry asks a fundamental question about human rights: Are they universal? In addressing this question, he disaggregates and criticizes several different varieties of "moral relativism" and then considers the implications of these different relativist positions for claims about human rights. * Perry turns to another fundamental question about human rights in his final essay: Are they absolute? He concludes that even if no human rights, understood as moral rights, are absolute or unconditional, some human rights, understood as international legal rights, are--and indeed, should be--absolute. In the introduction, Perry writes: "Of all the influential--indeed, formative--moral ideas to take center stage in the twentieth century, like democracy and socialism, the idea of human rights (which, again, in one form or another, is an old idea) is, for many, the most difficult. It is the most difficult in the sense that it is, for many, the hardest of the great moral ideas to integrate, the hardest to square, with the reigning intellectual assumptions of the age, especially what Bernard Williams has called 'Nietzsche's thought': 'There is not only no God, but no metaphysical order of any kind....' For those who accept 'Nietzsche's thought', can the idea of human rights possibly be more than a kind of aesthetic preference? In a culture in which it was widely believed that there is no God or metaphysical order of any kind, on what basis, if any, could the idea of human rights long survive?" The Idea of Human Rights: Four Inquiries will appeal to students of many disciplines, including (but not limited to) law, philosophy, religion, and politics.

The Idea of a Human Rights Museum

The Idea of a Human Rights Museum

"The Idea of a Human Rights Museum" is the first book to examine the formation of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and to situate the museum within the context of the international proliferation of such institutions. Sixteen essays consider the wider political, cultural and architectural contexts within which the museum physically and conceptually evolved drawing comparisons between the CMHR and institutions elsewhere in the world that emphasize human rights and social justice. This collection brings together authors from diverse fields—law, cultural studies, museum studies, sociology, history, political science, and literature—to critically assess the potentials and pitfalls of human rights education through “ideas” museums. Accessible, engaging, and informative, the collection’s essays will encourage museum-goers to think more deeply about the content of human rights exhibits. The Idea of a Human Rights Museum is the first title in the University of Manitoba Press’s Human Rights and Social Justice Series. This series publishes work that explores the quest for social justice and the basic rights and freedoms to which all human beings are entitled, including civil, political, economic, social, collective, and cultural rights.

The Idea of International Human Rights Law

The Idea of International Human Rights Law

International human rights law has emerged as an academic subject in its own right, separate from, but still related to international law. This book explains the distinctive nature of this discipline by examining the influence of the idea of human rights on general international law. Rather than make use of a particular moral philosophy or political theory, it explains human rights by examining the way the term is deployed in legal practice, on the understanding that words are given meaning through their use. Relying on complexity theory to make sense of the legal practice of the United Nations, the core human rights treaties, and customary international law, the work demonstrates the emergence of the moral concept of human rights as a fact of the social world. It reveals the dynamic nature of this concept, and the influence of the idea on the legal practice, a fact that explains the fragmentation of international law and special nature of international human rights law.

The Idea of Human Rights

The Idea of Human Rights

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.

Human Rights and Social Policy in the 21st Century

A History of the Idea of Human Rights and Comparison of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights with United States Federal and State Constitutions

Human Rights and Social Policy in the 21st Century

Previous edition, 1st, published in 1992.

Can Human Rights Survive?

Can Human Rights Survive?

In this 2006 book, Conor Gearty confronts the challenges that may destroy the language of human rights for future generations.

The Idea of Home in Law

Displacement and Dispossession

The Idea of Home in Law

The Idea of Home in Law: Displacement and Dispossession explores an important set of legal and policy issues surrounding the concepts of home and homelessness, taking a growing area of legal scholarship into the new arena of human rights and international law. The collection considers the ideas concerning home - both in the sense of the dwelling place as a special type of property, and territorial claims to homeland - which underpin many contemporary legal problems, by examining a range of contexts where people are displaced or dispossessed from their homes. The essays focusing on dispossession consider themes ranging from mortgage and rent arrears in the UK to responses to the foreclosure crisis in the USA, and from eviction for the purposes of economic development in South Africa to the exclusion of asylum seekers from the UK's social housing and welfare provision, and within the framework of the European Convention on Human Rights. The displacement theme, meanwhile, examines transnational 'home' issues from the experiences of exiles and refugees in areas of conflict to the impact of the broader context of economic, social and cultural rights on attempts to protect housing and home through international law. At the heart of each essay the contributors, experts from across the fields of law, policy, and housing rights, examine the circumstances in which displacement and dispossession take place, and reconsider how law and policy respond to such circumstances with a particular focus on the impact of loss of home for the human person. At a time of particular and increasing concern about security of tenure and the role of law and policy in protecting people who are vulnerable to forced eviction, The Idea of Home in Law presents a bold opportunity to raise questions about the 'rights' and norms associated with housing and home, and to generate new insights for scholarship and for national and international policy debates concerning displacement and dispossession.

The Idea of Labour Law

The Idea of Labour Law

Labour law is widely considered to be in crisis by scholars of the field. This crisis has an obvious external dimension - labour law is attacked for impeding efficiency, flexibility, and development; vilified for reducing employment and for favouring already well placed employees over less fortunate ones; and discredited for failing to cover the most vulnerable workers and workers in the "informal sector". These are just some of the external challenges to labour law. There is also an internal challenge, as labour lawyers themselves increasingly question whether their discipline is conceptually coherent, relevant to the new empirical realities of the world of work, and normatively salient in the world as we now know it. This book responds to such fundamental challenges by asking the most fundamental questions: What is labour law for? How can it be justified? And what are the normative premises on which reforms should be based? There has been growing interest in such questions in recent years. In this volume the contributors seek to take this body of scholarship seriously and also to move it forward. Its aim is to provide, if not answers which satisfy everyone, intellectually nourishing food for thought for those interested in understanding, explaining and interpreting labour laws - whether they are scholars, practitioners, judges, policy-makers, or workers and employers.