The Age of Rights
This study provides a clarification and defence of human rights. It argues that the development of human rights is an historical sign of progress in a world marked by the proliferation of cruel wars, the arms trade, pollution, famine and almost universal pessimism. Drawing widely on the work of Kant, Locke, Beccaria, and Paine, the book argues that the French Revolution is a crucial event in moulding ideas and attitudes today. It suggests that the proclamation of rights does not necessarily mean that those rights are actually enforced. It traces the development of human rights through various "generations" - libertarian, social, ecological - and argues that the recognition and effective protection of human rights are the foundations of modern democratic institutions. Human rights, democracy and peace are the three essential components of the same historical movement.
- Hardback | 210 pages
- 152 x 229 x 19.05mm | 430.91g
- 01 May 1996
- Polity Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
Table of contents
Part 1 On the fundamental principles of human rights: human rights now and in the future; the age of rights; human rights and society; human rights today. Part 2 The French Revolution and human rights: the legacy of the Great Revolution; Kant and the French Revolution. Part 3 Against the death penalty: the current debate on the death penalty.