International Human Rights and the Challenge of Legitimacy

The legitimacy of international human rights regimes: Legal, political and philosophical perspectives, edited by Andreas Føllesdal, Johan Karlsson Schaffer and Geir Ulfstein, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013, pages 1-31.

PluriCourts Research Paper No. 14-09

University of Oslo Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2014-10

40 Pages Posted: 5 May 2014 Last revised: 3 Jul 2014

See all articles by Johan Karlsson Schaffer

Johan Karlsson Schaffer

Göteborg University - School of Global Studies; University of Oslo - Faculty of Law

Andreas Follesdal

Pluricourts

Geir Ulfstein

Faculty of Law, University of Oslo; Pluricourts

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

International human rights regimes as they exist today are perplexing. On the one hand, international human rights emerged virtually out of the blue at the end of the second world war and had their political breakthrough in international affairs only by the mid-1970s. By now, they have become institutionalized as a set of elaborate international practices, almost universally recognized, if not always respected, by key international actors. And yet, on the other hand, international human rights practices increasingly face potentially disabling skepticism and critique, resentment and even resistance from many of the agents involved. Across the world, governments call into question the authority of the international institutions and instruments they themselves have agreed to create or join.

Are governments justified in their criticism and resistance towards international human rights norms and institutions? What grounds the legitimacy of the continuously developing global architecture of international human rights law and the international courts and treaty bodies established by human rights conventions?

These are the topics that this volume addresses. It contributes to an increasingly lively research literature spanning the disciplines of law, philosophy, political science and international relations. This introductory chapter serves, first, to give some examples of the type of political controversies over international human rights regimes that motivate this volume; second, to place the volume in current academic debates about international human rights and about the legitimate authority of international institutions; and thirdly, to outline the topics covered in the individual contributions.

Keywords: human rights, legitimacy, international courts, authority

Suggested Citation

Karlsson Schaffer, Johan and Follesdal, Andreas and Ulfstein, Geir, International Human Rights and the Challenge of Legitimacy (2013). The legitimacy of international human rights regimes: Legal, political and philosophical perspectives, edited by Andreas Føllesdal, Johan Karlsson Schaffer and Geir Ulfstein, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013, pages 1-31.; PluriCourts Research Paper No. 14-09; University of Oslo Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2014-10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2432863

Johan Karlsson Schaffer (Contact Author)

Göteborg University - School of Global Studies ( email )

POB 700
Gothenburg, SE 40530
Sweden

University of Oslo - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 6706 St Olavsplass
Oslo, 0130
Norway

Andreas Follesdal

Pluricourts ( email )

P.O. Box 6706
St. Olavs plass 5
0130 Oslo
Norway

Geir Ulfstein

Faculty of Law, University of Oslo ( email )

PO Box 6706 St Olavsplass
Oslo, 0130
Norway

Pluricourts

Norway

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