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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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Modern Constitutive Theories of Human Rights

Modern Constitutive Theories of Human Rights

(p.285) 10 Modern Constitutive Theories of Human Rights
The Limits of Ethics in International Relations


Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the constitutive theory or conventionalism in the construction of human rights based on examples from international relations theorists and political theorists of international relations. It suggests that fundamental human and humanitarian rights have emerged and have been understood in legal theory and practice, and that current discussion on human rights is conducted roughly in the terms set out by British Idealists. The chapter also highlights certain rights that are fundamental to the development of social relations and the importance of valuing the rights that people have.

Keywords:   human rights, constitutive theory, international relations, political theorists, British Idealists, social relations

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