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Human Rights and their Limits

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  • Page extent: 262 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.54 kg

Hardback

 (ISBN-13: 9780521110273)

Human Rights and Their Limits
Cambridge University Press
9780521110273 - Human Rights and Their Limits - By Wiktor Osiatyński
Frontmatter/Prelims

HUMAN RIGHTS AND THEIR LIMITS

Human Rights and Their Limits shows that the concept of human rights has developed in waves: each call for rights serves the purpose of social groups that try to stop further proliferation of rights after their own goals are reached.

Although defending the universality of human rights as norms of behavior, Wiktor Osiatyński admits that the philosophy on human rights does not need to be universal. He calls for a “soft universalism” that will not impose rights on others but will share the experience of freedom and help the victims of human rights violations. He also suggests that the enjoyment of social rights should be contingent on the recipient's contribution to society.

Although a state of unlimited democracy threatens rights, excessive rights can limit resources indispensable for democracy. This book argues that although rights are a prerequisite of freedom, they should be balanced with other values that are indispensable for social harmony and personal happiness.

Wiktor Osiatyński is a professor at the Central European University in Budapest, where he teaches at the CEU Legal Program. He is a former codirector of the Chicago Law School's Center for the Study of Constitutionalism in Eastern Europe and an advisor to a number of constitutional committees in Poland's Parliament. The author of more than twenty books, Osiatyński is on the boards of the Open Society Institute (OSI), the OSI Justice Initiative, and the Human Rights and Governance Grant Program. In 2007, he cofounded the Women's Party in Poland.


Human Rights and Their Limits

Wiktor Osiatyński

Central European University, Budapest


CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
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Cambridge University Press
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Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9780521125239

© Wiktor Osiatyński 2009

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2009

Printed in the United States of America

A catalog record for this publication is available from the British Library.

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication dataOsiatyński, Wiktor, 1945–Human rights and their limits / Wiktor Osiatyński.p. cm.Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN 978-0-521-11027-3 (hardback) – ISBN 978-0-521-12523-9 (pbk.)1. Human rights. I. Title.K3240.O82 2009341.4′8 – dc22 2009011792

ISBN 978-0-521-11027-3 Hardback
ISBN 978-0-521-12523-9 Paperback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party Internet Web sites referred to in this publication and does not guarantee that any content on such Web sites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.


To my daughter Natalia, with hope that your generation will possess human rights and not cease to sustain them


Contents

Preface
xi
Acknowledgments
xix
1       A Short History of Human Rights
1
Individual Rights
2
The Origins
2
Two Traditions of Rights
5
The Second Generation of Rights
6
Human Rights
9
First Proposals
9
The Formulation
14
A Compromise
23
Individual and Human Rights
26
The Rights Revolution
29
International Human Rights
29
The Restoration of Rights
33
Rights and Duties in the Socialist and Catholic Concepts of Rights
37
New Challenges
40
Human Rights and the “War on Terror”
47
Responsibility to Protect
51
Rights and Resources
55
Human Rights and Humanitarianism
60
Conclusions
65
2       Rights and Democracy
70
Democracy and Human Rights
72
Constitutional Democracy
73
The Logic of Democracy and the Logic of Rights
77
The Challenges of Democratic Constitution Making
80
Illiberal and Populist Democracies
81
Electronic Democracy
83
Individual and Group Rights
86
Exclusion
90
Citizenship and Welfare
93
Is Democracy Enough?
97
Legal Empowerment
100
Conclusions: Toward a New Concept of Democracy
102
3       Rights and Needs
105
Categories of Human Rights
106
Social and Economic Rights as Human Rights
112
Do Social Rights Differ from Civil and Political Rights?
114
The Legal Status of Social Rights
116
Social Rights in International Human Rights Law
117
Constitutional Solutions
121
Rights or Needs?
126
What Are Social Rights About?
128
Basic Needs
130
The Conditionality of Social Rights
133
Social Rights in a Limited State
135
The Regulatory Function
136
Setting Public Policy Goals
137
The Enforcement of Public Policy Goals
139
Constitutional Social Rights
141
Conclusions
141
4       Rights and Cultures
144
Universal Origins of Human Rights
145
Challenges to Universality
147
Authoritarian Development
148
Cultural Relativism
150
The New Crusade of the West
152
Arguments against Cultural Relativism
154
Freedom and Development
155
Arguments for Universalism
159
Modernization and Rights
160
Evolutionary Arguments
161
Points of Debate
163
Imposition by the West
163
A Change of Ideology
166
A Change in Content
168
The Individual and the Community
170
Can a Cross-Cultural Consensus on Human Rights Be Restored?
173
Human Rights and the Philosophy of Human Rights
175
Two Types of Violations
179
Conclusions: “Hard” and “Soft” Universalism
182
5       Human Rights and Other Values
187
Rights and Dignity
189
Rights in the Public Sphere
193
Rights between the Individual and the State
193
Rights and Society
195
Human Rights in the Private Sphere
197
The Horizontal Application of Rights
198
Human Rights as Guiding Principles
200
Between Morality and Law
203
Beyond Rights
205
Claiming vs. Giving
206
The Right Not to Claim Rights
208
Rights and the Pursuit of Happiness
211
Rights and Ethics
212
Conclusion
214
Bibliography
217
Index
233



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