This volume explores the relationship between human rights and democracy within both the theoretical and empirical field. It is a book within the tradition of deliberative democracy, although it focuses on global institutions and human rights rather than nation-state or federalist democracy. Eva Erman problematizes the absence of political rights in the global human rights discourse from a deliberative standpoint. Starting out from and at the same time criticizing Habermas' discourse theory of law and democracy, she makes a significant contribution to a discourse theory of human rights and applies it to a global rights institution, the United Nations' Commission on Human Rights. This is an innovative study that offers tools for democratizing existing global political institutions, and is therefore suitable for philosophers, political theorists, scholars of human rights and those interested in democracy.
'Eva Erman's recent book on studying global human rights institutions through a (modified) Habermasian version of discourse theory constitutes an innovative and thoughtful attempt to bridge the gap between the theoretical-normative and the empirical research on human rights in the discipline of political sciences.' Human Rights & Human Welfare
Contents: The interdependence of human rights and democracy; The absence of political rights in the rights discourse; A discourse theory based on action rules of language; Legitimizing rights through democratic means; Towards an institutional design; The reflexive use of rights; Bibliography; Index.