Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice

Overview

In the third edition of his classic work, revised extensively and updated to include recent developments on the international scene, Jack Donnelly explains and defends a richly interdisciplinary account of human rights as universal rights. He shows that any conception of human rights?and the idea of human rights itself?is historically specific and contingent. Since publication of the first edition in 1989, Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice has justified Donnelly's claim that "conceptual clarity, the ...

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Overview

In the third edition of his classic work, revised extensively and updated to include recent developments on the international scene, Jack Donnelly explains and defends a richly interdisciplinary account of human rights as universal rights. He shows that any conception of human rights—and the idea of human rights itself—is historically specific and contingent. Since publication of the first edition in 1989, Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice has justified Donnelly's claim that "conceptual clarity, the fruit of sound theory, can facilitate action. At the very least it can help to unmask the arguments of dictators and their allies."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Every once in a while a book appears that treats the leading issues of a subject in such a clear and challenging manner that it becomes central to understanding that subject. Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice is just such a book. Donnelly's interpretations are clear and argued with zest."—American Political Science Review (reviewing a previous edition)

"This wide-ranging book looks at all aspects of human rights, drawing on political theory, sociology, and international relations as well as international law."—Foreign Affairs (reviewing a previous edition)

"What Donnelly does better than anyone else is to lay before the reader a coherent conceptual framework for an understanding of international human rights as an operative part of international life. The book remains at the top of any bibliography of indispensable books dealing with human rights."—Human Rights & Human Welfare (reviewing a previous edition)

American Political Science Review
Every once in a while a book appears that treats the leading issues of a subject in such a clear and challenging manner that it becomes central to understanding that subject. Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice is just such a book. . . . Donnelly's interpretations are clear and argued with zest.
Foreign Affairs
This wide-ranging book looks at all aspects of human rights, drawing upon political theory, sociology, and international relations as well as international law. . . . [Jack Donnelly] deals successfully with two of the principal challenges to the notion of the universality of human rights: the argument that some non-Western societies are not subject to Western norms, and the claim that economic development may require the sacrifice of some human rights.
Booknews
(unseen), $12.95. Donnelly explicates and defends an account of human rights as universal rights. Considering the competing claims of the universality, particularity, and relativity of human rights, he argues that the historical contingency and particularity of human rights is completely compatible with a conception of human rights as universal moral rights, and thus does not require the acceptance of claims of cultural relativism. The book moves between theoretical argument and historical practice. Rigorous and tightly-reasoned, material and perspectives from many disciplines are incorporated. Paper edition Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801477706
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 4/30/2013
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 137,597
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Donnelly is Andrew Mellon Professor and John Evans Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. His other books include International Human Rights and Realism in International Relations.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Third Edition

Introduction

Part I. Toward a Theory of Human Rights

1. The Concept of Human Rights
How Rights Work
Special Features of Human Rights
Human Nature and Human Rights
Human Rights and Related Practices
Analytic and Substantive Theories
The Failure of Foundational Appeals
Coping with Contentious Foundations

2. The Universal Declaration Model
The Universal Declaration
The Universal Declaration Model
Human Dignity and Human Rights
Individual Rights
Interdependence and Indivisibility
The State and International Human Rights
Respecting, Protecting, and Providing Human Rights
Realizing Human Rights and Human Dignity

3. Economic Rights and Group Rights
The Status of Economic and Social Rights
Group Rights and Human Rights

4. Equal Concern and Respect
Hegemony and Settled Norms
An Overlapping Consensus on International Human Rights
Moral Theory, Political Theory, and Human Rights
Equal Concern and Respect
Toward a Liberal Theory of Human Rights
Consensus: Overlapping but Bounded

Part II. The Universality and Relativity of Human Rights

5. A Brief History of Human Rights
Politics and Justice in the Premodern Non-Western World
The Premodern West
The Modern Invention of Human Rights
The American and French Revolutions
Approaching the Universal Declaration
Expanding the Subjects and Substance of Human Rights

6. The Relative Universality of Human Rights
"Universal" and "Relative"
The Universality of Internationally Recognized Human Rights
Three Levels of Universality and Particularity
Relative Universality: A Multidimensional Perspective

7. Universality in a World of Particularities
Culture and the Relativity of Human Rights
Advocating Universality in a World of Particularities

Part III. Human Rights and Human Dignity

8. Dignity: Particularistic and Universalistic Conceptions in the West
Dignitas: The Roman Roots of Dignity
Biblical Conceptions: Kavod and Imago Dei
Kant
Rights and Dignity in the West
Dignity and the Foundations of Human Rights

9. Humanity, Dignity, and Politics in Confucian China
Cosmology and Ethics
Confucians and the Early Empires
“Neo-Confucianism” and Song Imperial Rule
Twentieth-Century Encounters with “Rights”
Human Rights and Asian Values

10. Humans and Society in Hindu South Asia
Cosmology
Social Philosophy
Caste
Hindu Universalism
Opposition to Caste Discrimination
Hinduism and Human Rights in Contemporary India

Part IV. Human Rights and International Action

11. International Human Rights Regimes
The Global Human Rights Regime
Political Foundations of the Global Regime
Regional Human Rights Regimes
Single-Issue Human Rights Regimes
Assessing Multilateral Human Rights Mechanisms
The Evolution of Human Rights Regimes

12. Human Rights and Foreign Policy
Human Rights and the National Interest
International Human Rights and National Identity
Means and Mechanisms of Bilateral Action
The Aims of Human Rights Policy
Foreign Policy and Human Rights Policy
The Limits of International Action
Appendix: Arguments against International Human Rights Policies

Part V. Contemporary Issues

13. Human Rights, Democracy, and Development
The Contemporary Language of Legitimacy
Defining Democracy
Democracy and Human Rights
Defining Development
Development-Rights Tradeoffs
Development and Civil and Political Rights
Markets and Economic and Social Rights
The Liberal Democratic Welfare State

14. The West and Economic and Social Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Domestic Western Practice
The International Human Rights Covenants
Functional and Regional Organizations
Further Evidence of Western Support
Understanding the Sources of the Myth
Why Does It Matter?

15. Humanitarian Intervention against Genocide
Intervention and International Law
Humanitarian Intervention and International Law
The Moral Standing of the State
Politics, Partisanship, and International Order
Changing Conceptions of Security and Sovereignty
Justifying the Anti-genocide Norm
Changing Legal Practices
“Justifying” Humanitarian Intervention
Mixed Motives and Consistency
Politics and the Authority to Intervene
Judging the Kosovo Intervention
Darfur and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention

16. Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities
The Right to Nondiscrimination
Nondiscrimination and Political Struggle
Discrimination against Sexual Minorities
Nature, (Im)morality, and Public Morals
Strategies for Inclusion
Paths of Incremental Change

References
Index

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