Human Rights: An Interdisciplinary Approach

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9780745639666: Human Rights: An Interdisciplinary Approach
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Human Rights is an introductory text that is both innovativeand challenging. It invites students to think conceptually aboutone of the most important and influential political concepts of ourtime. In this unique interdisciplinary approach, Michael Freemanemphasizes the complex ways in which the experiences of the victimsof human rights violations are related to legal, philosophical andsocial-scientific approaches to human rights.

By tracing the history of the concept, the book shows that there isa fundamental tension between the philosophy of human rights andthe way in which it is understood in the social sciences. Thisanalysis throws light on some of the most controversial issues inthe field: Is the idea of the universality of human rightsconsistent with respect for cultural difference? Are therecollective human rights? Should feminists embrace, revise or rejectthe idea of human rights? Does the idea of human rights distractour attention from the structural causes of oppression andexploitation? What are the underlying causes of human rightsviolations; and why do some countries have much worse human rightsrecords than others?

The book will appeal to students in the social sciences, as well asstudents of human rights law who want an introduction to thenon-legal aspects of their subject. It will also be read byscholars interested in ethics and the social sciences, as well asthe general reader. This is a substantially revised edition thattakes account of recent events such as the ‘war onterror’ and the global economic crisis of 2008.

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About the Author:

Michael Freeman is a research professor in the Department of Government at the University of Essex. He has given lectures at universities in more than 20 countries and has published extensively on the theory and practice of human rights.

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Freeman, Michael
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