Basic Rights: Subsistence, Affluence, and U.S. Foreign Policy

Basic Rights: Subsistence, Affluence, and U.S. Foreign Policy


By (author) Henry Shue

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  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 213mm x 10mm | 249g
  • Publication date: 1 November 1996
  • Publication City/Country: New Jersey
  • ISBN 10: 0691029296
  • ISBN 13: 9780691029290
  • Edition: 2
  • Edition statement: 2nd Second with a New Afterword by ed.
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 429,463

Product description

Which human rights ought to be the first honored and the last sacrificed? In the first systematic attempt by an American philosopher to address the issue of human rights as it relates to U. S. foreign policy, Henry Shue proposes an original conception of basic rights that illuminates both the nature of moral rights generally and the determination of which specific rights are the basic ones.

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Review quote

"With unrelenting logic Shue recommends that American law be broadened to require the termination of aid not merely to those governments that engage in shocking and outrageous conduct but to those countries indifferent to the rights of their citizens to food, shelter, and health care... Shue has written the classical statement affirming that the rich nations are required by justice and by international law to share their abundance with those millions who are chronically malnourished."--Former Congressman Father Robert F. Drinan, Commonweal "This is one of the strongest arguments for an economic human right that I have found to date."--Carl Wellman, Human Rights Quarterly

Back cover copy

This book is about the moral minimum--about the lower limits on tolerable human conduct, individual and institutional. It concerns the least that every person can demand and the least that every person, every government, and every corporation must be made to do. In this respect the bit of theory presented here belongs to one of the bottom corners of the edifice of human values. About the great aspirations and exalted ideals, saintly restraint and heroic fortitude and awesome beauties that enrich life, nothing appears here. They are not denied but simply deferred for other occasions.

Table of contents

Preface to the Second Edition IThree Basic Rights 1Security and Subsistence 2Correlative Duties 3Liberty IIThree Challenges to Subsistence Rights 4Realism and Responsibility 5Affluence and Responsibility 6Nationality and Responsibility Afterword: Right-grounded Duties and the International Turn Notes Bibliography Index