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This research monograph develops a highly original reading of the nature and function of human rights. Drawing on insights from complex communication systems theory, the work argues that we should conceptualize human rights as a global system of systems: moral human rights, political human rights, and legal human rights, with each system having its own functional logic for dealing with violations of human rights and contributing to the patterned behaviour that we observe and frame as global human rights. The work develops and defends an understanding of human rights from the perspective of complexity theory and applies the insights to controversies in the contemporary literature on human rights.