Human Rights and Sustainability : Moral responsibilities for the future book cover
1st Edition

Human Rights and Sustainability
Moral responsibilities for the future

ISBN 9780815355663
Published December 21, 2017 by Routledge
240 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The history of human rights suggests that individuals should be empowered in their natural, political, political, social and economic vulnerabilities. States within the international arena hold each other responsible for doing just that and support or interfere where necessary. States are to protect these essential human vulnerabilities, even when this is not a matter of self-interest. This function of human rights is recognized in contexts of intervention, genocide, humanitarian aid and development.

This book develops the idea of environmental obligations as long-term responsibilities in the context of human rights. It proposes that human rights require recognition that, in the face of unsustainable conduct, future human persons are exposed and vulnerable. It explores the obstacles for long-term responsibilities that human rights law provides at the level of international and national law and challenges the question of whether lifestyle restrictions are enforceable in view of liberties and levels of wellbeing typically seen as protected by human rights.

The book will be of interest to postgraduates studying Human Rights, Sustainability, Law and Philosophy.

Table of Contents

1. Human Rights and Future People: An Introduction  PART I – Obstacles and Promises in Contemporary Human Rights Law  2. Greening Human Rights Law: A Focus on the European Convention on Human Rights  3. An Atmospheric Trust to Protect the Environment for Future Generations? Reform Options for Human Rights Law  4. Avoiding the Tragedy of Human Rights: How Complex Thought May Open the Way to Recognising Human Rights for Future Generations  5. International Human Rights and Duties to Future Generations: The Role of an International Constitution  PART II – Long-term Responsibility and the Theory of Human Rights  6. Human Dignity and Intergenerational Human Rights  7. Human Rights and Threats concerning Future People: A Sufficientarian Proposal Jos Philips  8. Human Rights, Climate Change, and Sustainability  9. A Chain of Status: Long-term Responsibility in the Context of Human Rights  PART III – Human Rights Approaches to Sustainability  10. Human Rights as a Normative Guideline for Climate Policy  11. The Duties We Have to Future Generations: A Gewirthian Approach  12. Ecological Rights of Future Generations: A Capability Approach  PART IV – Implications and Implementation  13. On Current Food Consumption and Future Generations: Is There a Moral Need to Change our Food Consumption in Order to Safeguard the Human Rights of Future Generations?  14. Climate Change and the Right to One Child  15. The Institutional Representation of Future Generations  16. Human Rights, Sustainability and Future People – A Future Discussion

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Gerhard Bos is a postdoctoral researcher at Utrecht University.

Marcus Düwell is the Director of the Ethics Institute at Utrecht University.


"This is a highly valuable contribution which lays the groundwork for theorising about environmental concerns from a normative perspective and will be of great benefit to students and scholars from various backgrounds." – Intergenerational Justice Review, 2016