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In Defense of Universal Human Rights

Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann
Barcode 9781509513536
Book

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Release Date: 05/10/2018

Genre: Law & Politics
Label: Polity Press
Language: English
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Pages: 232

Should African and Muslim-majority countries be obliged to protect LGBT rights, or do such rights violate their cultures? Should Western-based corporations be held liable if their security guards injure union activists in another part of the world, or should such decisions be settled under local or domestic law?

In this book, renowned human rights scholar Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann vigorously defends the universality of human rights, arguing that the entire range of rights is necessary for all individuals everywhere, regardless of sex, color, ethnicity, sexuality, religion or social class.

Howard-Hassmann grounds her defense of universality in her conception of human dignity, which she maintains must include personal autonomy, equality, respect, recognition, and material security. Only social democracies, she contends, can be considered fully rights-protective states. Taking issue with scholars who argue that human rights are “Western” quasi-imperialist impositions on states in the global South, and risk undermining community and social obligation, Howard-Hassmann explains how human rights support communities and can only be preserved if states and individuals observe their duties to protect them.