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This study starts from a provocative new premise: the relationship between human rights and their legal expression is far from straightforward and urgently needs a sharp re-examination. The concept of 'human rights' as a universal goal is at the centre of the international stage.
It is now a key part in discourse, treaties and in domestic jurisdictions. However, as this study shows, the debate around this development is actually about human rights law. This text scrutinizes the extent to which legalization shapes the human rights ideal, and surveys its ethical, political and practical repercussions. How does the law influence what we think about rights? What more is there to such rights than their legal protection?
These expert contributors approach these questions from a range of perspectives: political theory/moral theory, anthropology, sociology, international law, international politics and political science, to deliver a diversity of methodologies. This book is essential reading for those wishing to develop a clear understanding of the relationship between human rights ideals and laws and for those working toward the fostering of a genuine human rights culture.