Expanding the Debate on Moral and Political Approaches to the Philosophy of Human Rights (Introduction)

chapter in: Moral and Political Conceptions of Human Rights Implications for Theory and Practice, edited by Reidar Maliks & Johan Karlsson Schaffer. Cambridge University Press, 2017, s. 1-12.

15 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2018

See all articles by Johan Karlsson Schaffer

Johan Karlsson Schaffer

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

Reidar Maliks

University of Oslo - Norwegian Centre for Human Rights; Pluricourts

Date Written: February 22, 2017

Abstract

In recent years, political philosophers have been engaged in a lively debate on the virtues of two distinct methods for constructing a philosophical theory of human rights. On the so-called moral approach, human rights are a special class of moral rights we all possess simply by virtue of our common humanity and which are universal in time and space. By contrast, the political approach instead seeks to understand what human rights are by interpreting the role they play in international affairs as a distinctly modern international legal-political practice that regulates the relationship between governments of sovereign states and their citizens, which has emerged through the creation of the international human rights regime since the end of the Second World War.

This volume sets out to contribute to this debate and move it ahead by rethinking some of its fundamental premises and by applying it to new and challenging domains, which have previously been understudied. Thus, the book has two main purposes: To extend and enrich the debate about moral and political conceptions as alternative methodological approaches to the philosophy of human rights, and to explore how these approaches speak to pertinent problems in contemporary human rights practice.

In this introductory chapter, we first provide an outline of the debate, before we proceed to outline the issues covered in the various chapters.

Keywords: human rights, political philosophy

Suggested Citation

Karlsson Schaffer, Johan and Maliks, Reidar, Expanding the Debate on Moral and Political Approaches to the Philosophy of Human Rights (Introduction) (February 22, 2017). chapter in: Moral and Political Conceptions of Human Rights Implications for Theory and Practice, edited by Reidar Maliks & Johan Karlsson Schaffer. Cambridge University Press, 2017, s. 1-12. , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3096458

Johan Karlsson Schaffer (Contact Author)

University of Gothenburg - 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

Reidar Maliks

University of Oslo - Norwegian Centre for Human Rights ( email )

Oslo, 0130
Norway

Pluricourts

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

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