1st Edition

Political and Legal Approaches to Human Rights

Edited By Tom Campbell, Kylie Bourne Copyright 2018
    266 Pages
    by Routledge

    266 Pages
    by Routledge

    This collection explores and illustrates issues arising from ‘political’ approaches to human rights in contrast to the more traditional ‘moral’ approaches. Moral approaches conceptualize and justify human rights in terms of priority rights which are both universal and moral. In contrast, political approaches focus on those human rights practices involved in the development and operation of human rights institutions, laws and political process, all in relative independence from their alleged moral foundations. The book contributes to the understanding and analysis of ‘political approaches’, including consideration of their diversity, and discussion of their strengths and weaknesses. The choice of contributors presents a balance between those theorists who favour some version of the political approach and those who are dubious about the perceived advantages. The chapters are grouped together in parts which constitute the distinctive issues addressed in the book.

    At a time when there is considerable uncertainty concerning their conceptual clarity, operation, feasibility, and their normative justifications, this volume will be of interest to those involved with the theory and practice of human rights, within law schools, and in politics and philosophy departments. It will also provide a useful resource for human rights practitioners and policy makers.


    List of Contributors

    Introduction Tom Campbell and Kylie Bourne

    Part One: Identifying Political Approaches

    1. Tom Campbell, ‘Human Rights Morality and Human Rights Practice: An Interactive Approach’

    2 Caroline West, ‘Human Rights for Non-Believers’

    3 Duncan Ivison, ‘Traces of Recognition: Rights and Political Realism’

    4 Jovana Davidovic, ‘A Practical Account of the Concept of Human Rights’

    5 Suzy Killmister, ‘Deriving Human Rights from Human Dignity: A Novel Political Approach’

    Part Two: Critiquing Political Approaches

    6 John Tasioulas, ‘Exiting the Hall of Mirrors: Morality and Law in Human Rights’

    7 Denise Meyerson, ‘The Mismatch between Theory and Practice in Recent Theorizing about Human Rights’

    8 Jim Allan, ‘Human Rights, Doubts and Democracy’

    Part Three: Accommodating Economic Rights

    9 Octavio Luiz Motta Ferraz, ‘Two Conceptions of Social and Economic Rights: Basic Needs versus Equality’

    10 David Kinley, ‘The Politics of Human Rights and Finance’

    11 Laura Valentini, ‘Human Rights, the Political View and Transnational Corporations: An Exploration’

    Part Four: Beyond the Nation State?

    12 Sonu Bedi, ‘The Absence of Horizontal Effect in Human Rights Law: Domestic Violence and the Intimate Sphere’

    13 Seumas Miller, ‘The "Human" Right to Self-Defence: Natural, Institutional or Political Right?’

    14 Kylie Bourne, ‘Beitz’s Two Level Model of Human Rights and Statelessness’


    Rhiannon Neilsen and Tom Campbell, ‘An Overview of Political Approaches to Human Rights’




    Tom Campbell is a Research Associate at Charles Sturt University, Australia, formerly Professorial Fellow in the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE), previously Professor of Law at The Australian National University and prior to that Professor of Jurisprudence at The University of Glasgow, UK. He has published extensively on Legal Theory and Political Philosophy.

    Dr Kylie Bourne is Senior Research Assistant at the Regional Australia Institute. She was formerly Research Assistant at Charles Sturt University and prior to that, Research Management Coordinator in the College of Law at the Australian National University.