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This comprehensive book offers both an introduction and a critical analysis of enduring themes and issues in the contemporary theory and practice of human rights. Providing a multi-disciplinary analysis it engages with philosophical, political and social approaches to the subject of human rights. Andrew Fagan argues that the moral authority and practical efficacy of human rights are adversely affected by a range of myths and misunderstandings - from claims regarding the moral status of human rights as a fully comprehensive moral doctrine to the view that the possession of rights is antithetical to recognising the importance of moral duties. The author also examines the claim made by some that human rights ultimately only exists as legal phenomena and that nation-states are inherently hostile to the spirit of human rights. This book will challenge people to reconsider their understanding of human rights as a global moral outlook. This monograph will become essential reading for both postgraduate and undergraduate students interested in the field of human rights. It will also be invaluable to academics, researchers and human rights practitioners involved in the human rights debate.