Human rights

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The settlement of the Second World War yielded two important changes in the normative order of international relations. These are the prohibition of war except in self-defence, expressed in the UN Charter and the limitation of sovereignty by a common set of protections of individuals, expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Looked at in historical perspective, these innovations are two dimensions of a single movement - a collective effort at the global level to impose discipline on the external and internal behaviour of states. Neither innovation lacks ambition, but of the two, the more far-reaching is certainly the doctrine of human rights. It aims to bring the domestic conduct of governments under agreed international norms - to define and establish ‘a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations’ (UDHR, Preamble) to which the organized international community can hold individual governments accountable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781405177245
ISBN (Print)9781405136532
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


  • Economic rights
  • Idea of a human right
  • International toleration
  • Practice of human rights


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