1st Edition

Economic Liberties and Human Rights

Edited By Jahel Queralt, Bas van der Vossen Copyright 2019
    350 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    350 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The status of economic liberties remains a serious lacuna in the theory and practice of human rights. Should a minimally just society protect the freedoms to sell, save, profit and invest? Is being prohibited to run a business a human rights violation? While these liberties enjoy virtually no support from the existing philosophical theories of human rights and little protection by the international human rights law, they are of tremendous importance in the lives of individuals, and particularly the poor. Like most individual liberties, economic liberties increase our ability to lead our own life. When we enjoy them, we can choose the occupational paths that best fit us and, in so doing, define who they are in relation to others. Furthermore, in the absence of good jobs, economic liberties allow us to create an alternative path to subsistence. This is critical for the millions of working poor in developing countries who earn their livelihoods by engaging in independent economic activities. Insecure economic liberties leave them vulnerable to harassment, bribery and other forms of abuse from middlemen and public officials. This book opens a debate about the moral and legal status of economic liberties as human rights. It brings together political and legal theorists working in the domain of human rights and global justice, as well as people engaged in the practice of human rights, to engage in both foundational and applied issues concerning these questions.

    1. Introduction

    Jahel Queralt and Bas van der Vossen

    Part I: Economic Liberties and International Law

    2. Property Rights as Human Rights

    José Alvarez

    3. In What Sense are Economic Rights Human Rights? Departing from their Naturalistic Reading in International Human Rights Law

    Samantha Besson

    4. Property’s Relation to Human Rights

    Carol M. Rose

    Part II:  Economic Liberties, Growth, and Human Rights 

    5. Global Justice and Economic Growth: Ignoring the Only Thing that Works

    Dan Moller

    6. Entrepreneurial Rights as Basic Rights

    Francis Cheneval

    7. International Law, Public Reason, and Productive Rights

    Fernando Tesón

    Part III:  Economic Liberties as Human Rights

    8. Making a Living: The Human Right to Livelihood

    Amanda Greene

    9. The Right to Own the Means of Production

    Christopher Freiman and John Thrasher

    10. A Claim to Own Productive Property

    Nien-hê Hsieh

    12. Creativity, Economic Freedom, and Human Rights

    Robert Cooter and Benjamin Chen

    Part IV: Critical Views

    11. Economic Rights as Human Rights: Commodification and Moral Parochialism

    Daniel Attas

    12. How Fundamental is the Right to Freedom of Exchange?

    Rowan Cruft

    Part V:  Economic Liberties in Practice

    13. Economic Rights of The Informal Self-Employed: Three Urban Cases

    Martha Chen

    14. Addressing Land Rights in the Human Rights Framework

    Karol C. Boudreaux 


    Jahel Queralt is a Serra Hunter Lecturer in Law at Pompeu Fabra University. Previously, she has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Advanced Studies Justitia Amplificata at the Goethe-Universität of Frankfurt and at the Ethik Zentrum at the University of Zurich. Her research interests include liberalism, distributive justice, productive justice and human rights. Her work has appeared in journals such as Law and Philosophy, Ratio Juris, and Analyse und Kritik.

    Bas van der Vossen is Associate Professor in the Smith Institute of Political Economy and Philosophy, and the Philosophy Department at Chapman University. His research is in political philosophy. He’s the co-author of In Defense of Openness, with Jason Brennan (2018) and Debating Humanitarian Intervention, with Fernando Tesón (2017) and co-edited the Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism (Routledge, 2017). He is currently an Associate Editor of the journal Social Philosophy and Policy. Bas earned his DPhil from the University of Oxford.