1st Edition

The Idea of Human Rights Revisited Charles Beitz and the Political Turn in the Philosophy of Human Rights

Edited By David Álvarez, João Cardoso Rosas Copyright 2023
    178 Pages
    by Routledge

    178 Pages
    by Routledge

    This volume takes stock of the seminal contribution of Charles Beitz to the so-called "political turn" in the philosophy of human rights, whose origins are in the work of the late Rawls. In his already classic book The Idea of Human Rights (2009), Beitz proposes that human rights are better understood from the vantage point of their practice in the contemporary world. Instead of looking at these rights as legal and political instantiations of fully justified moral rights, Beitz reconstructs the idea of human rights as being part of a global discursive practice that can only be understood in the framework of the international system of states in which we live. In this system of interdependent states, with the consequent dispersion of political authority, human rights constitute an array of internal justifications and criticisms, rather than a blueprint of the ideal society.

    All the chapters in this volume draw on these fundamental ideas elaborated by Beitz and propose to extend them further in their connection with humanistic accounts of human rights, with the plurality of contexts in which the practice of human rights takes place, and finally, with the interconnections between these rights and global justice or intergenerational justice.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy.

    Introduction: Developments and Challenges for a Political Idea of Human Rights 
    David Álvarez and João Cardoso Rosas 
    1. The practice and its authority: an elaboration 
    Charles R. Beitz 
    2. Are human rights associative rights? The debate between humanist and political conceptions of human rights revisited 
    Cristina Lafont 
    3. Human rights practices 
    Andrea Sangiovanni 
    4. Add international courts to The Idea of Human Rights and stir … on Beitz’ The Idea of Human Rights after 10 years 
    Andreas Follesdal 
    5. Charles Beitz’ idea of human rights and the limits of law 
    Alain Zysset 
    6. Global (in)justice and the human right to housing. A practice-based approach 
    Regina Kreide 
    7. Which practice? – Rescuing the practical conception of human rights 
    Luise K. Müller 
    8. Long-term urgent interests and human rights practice: a challenge to the political conception 
    Andre Santos Campos 


    David Álvarez is Political Philosopher currently working at the University of Vigo, Spain; former Fulbright postdoc at Yale; and Corresponding Fellow at the Yale Global Justice Program. His research interests include theories of cosmopolitanism, social movements, and metropolitan theory.

    João Cardoso Rosas is Associate Professor of Political Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Ethics, Politics and Society at the University of Minho, Braga, Portugal. His research interests include the philosophy of human rights, theories of justice, political ideologies, and aspects in the history of modern political philosophy.