Human Rights: Moral or Political?
Edited by Adam Etinson
Reviews and Awards
"A rich collection of focussed dialogues — a provocative gift for teaching — in which the lively ferment over human rights in recent years is deepened, often by becoming refreshingly interdisciplinary, and exciting new formulations are proposed by a diverse range of leading scholars." - Henry Shue, author of Basic Rights (1996)
"The Universal Declaration of Human Rights may be the single most influential document of the twentieth century, but is also one of the most controversial. In Human Rights: Moral or Political? Adam Etinson has brought together more than 30 leading legal, political, historical and philosophical commentators on human rights to discuss one anothers claims. The authors range from those who see human rights as successors to natural rights, so as providing universal moral standards, to those who see human rights as positive legal and political instruments that are changing the international order... this collection is seriously and usefully critical not only on these fundamental issues, but also on knotty questions about specific rights, about principles of legal interpretation and about the limits of juridification." - Onora O'Neill, author of Justice Across Boundaries: Whose Obligations? (2016) and winner of the 2017 Berggruen Prize
"This is an impressive collection of essays by outstanding human rights scholars from a variety of disciplines. It is certain to make a lasting impact on contemporary thinking about human rights. Taking off from the current debate on the proper status of human rights as "orthodox" or "political," the essays in this volume not only move this important debate forward but also enable a genuine dialogue across disciplines on fundamental philosophical, political and legal questions surrounding human rights and human rights practice. The collection thus excellently represents the depth and scope of engagement across disciplinary boundaries that understanding human rights in all their complexity requires. It will be mandatory reading for anyone interested in the past, present and future of human rights." - Cristina Lafont, author of Global Governance and Human Rights (2012)
"Those of us whose work is focused on 'applied' human rights in law, politics, or ethics may nevertheless experience a need for fundamental reflection on the 'big' philosophical questions regarding human rights. Such craving can now be satisfied with a single book. With no less than 30 chapters and an unseen concentration of stars of the philosophical and other firmaments, it can also be read as a sample book, introducing readers to different ways of philosophical rights reasoning. The majority of the chapters engage in discussions at a very abstract or general level. While this may be off-putting to the practical-minded, it also guarantees relevance across the entire field of human rights scholarship, regardless of disciplines, jurisdictions and thematic specialisations." - Eva Brems, Professor of Human Rights Law, University of Gent