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In this new edition of the highly successful volume Francesca Klug explains the nature of human rights discourse through an exploration of its evolution over the last two hundred years. By tracing the popular appeal of human rights over time, she describes and explains how the idea of fundamental human rights has changed and developed through three distinct ‘waves’ characterized by different, but overlapping, sets of values.
It examines how protecting human rights has become part of the justification for suspending laws designed to uphold them and how the legitimacy of human rights values is openly challenged by wildly different forces, ranging from religious fundamentalists to liberal governments, who maintain that an over-emphasis on rights leaves states vulnerable to attack by terrorists and propagandists who take advantage of liberal laws.
Providing an accessible analysis of human rights discourse, this significant volume will be of interest to students, researchers, activists and all those interested in human rights.