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The Limits of Ethics in International RelationsNatural Law, Natural Rights, and Human Rights in Transition$
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David Boucher

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199203529

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199203529.001.0001

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The Human Rights Culture and its Discontents

The Human Rights Culture and its Discontents

(p.245) 9 The Human Rights Culture and its Discontents
The Limits of Ethics in International Relations


Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses discontent about the human rights culture. It argues that while natural rights and human rights are often associated, they are quite different but with similar objectives or policy goals. It suggests that the shift from natural to human rights reflects an unease about whether nature is capable of generating any normative principles. The use of the term human rights also shifts the focus from the source of the rights to those who possess them.

Keywords:   human rights, natural rights, policy goals, normative principles, discontents

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