The origin of the idea that human beings have certain fundamental rights that ought to be recognized in all societies may be traced to a variety of philosophical, legal, and religious sources, mainly in the Western tradition. Its main application has been in the sphere of politics, within which the concept of human (or 'natural') rights has been used to to justify and to limit the authority of states in relation to their citizens and their dealings with other states. This chapter discusses issues arising from analyses and critiques of human rights (moral rights that belong to all human beings by virtue of their humanity, which override, or generally outweigh, other moral considerations.) These issues include the nature and significance of rights. Consideration is given to the philosophical and practical justifications for believing (or not believing) in human rights, to different theories concerning how we might determine their content and scope, to practical implications, and to how human rights should be implemented.
|Title of host publication||Issues In Political Theory|
|Place of Publication||Oxford|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Number of pages||22|
|Edition||Third / 8|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|