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In Defense of Universal Human Rights. Edition No. 1

  • Book

  • 232 Pages
  • October 2018
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • ID: 4538375

Should African and Muslim-majority countries be obliged to protect LGBT rights, or do such rights violate their cultures? Should Western-based corporations be held liable if their security guards injure union activists in another part of the world, or should such decisions be settled under local or domestic law?

In this book, renowned human rights scholar Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann vigorously defends the universality of human rights, arguing that the entire range of rights is necessary for all individuals everywhere, regardless of sex, color, ethnicity, sexuality, religion or social class.

Howard-Hassmann grounds her defense of universality in her conception of human dignity, which she maintains must include personal autonomy, equality, respect, recognition, and material security. Only social democracies, she contends, can be considered fully rights-protective states. Taking issue with scholars who argue that human rights are “Western” quasi-imperialist impositions on states in the global South, and risk undermining community and social obligation, Howard-Hassmann explains how human rights support communities and can only be preserved if states and individuals observe their duties to protect them.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Abbreviations ix

Introduction 1

1 Universal Human Rights 6

2 Critical Perspectives on Human Rights 28

3 How Rights-Protective Societies Develop 49

4 Civil and Political Rights 72

5 Culture and Community 93

6 Economic and Social Human Rights 117

7 Collective Human Rights 139

8 Western (Ir)responsibility for Human Rights in the Global South 158

Notes 182

Index 199


Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann