Human rights as international concern and domestic empowerment
In this seminar Johan Karlsson Schaffer offers a different political-practical conception of human rights. He assumes that human rights are chiefly enforced and implemented through domestic, rather than international political action. This is because they empower individuals and groups to challenge governmental authority.
In recent years, a number of philosophers have endorsed a political conception of human rights in contrast to the traditional moral conception of human rights. The moral conception approaches human rights as a special class of moral rights we all possess simply by virtue of our humanity. The political conceptions instead theorize human rights as a normative framework for the relationship between governments and their citizens in a world of independent states.
Specifically, human rights offer standards of legitimacy and toleration: When does a state deserve a right to non-interference, and when may other states or the world community legitimately interfere? Although the political conception aims to theorize human rights from their role and function in international affairs, it typically restricts both the forms of action triggered by human rights concerns and the substantive content of international human rights doctrine, compared to current practice.
Scahffer offers a different political-practical conception of human rights, assuming that human rights are chiefly enforced and implemented through domestic, rather than international political action. This ‘domestic Empowerment view’ reconstructs the practice of international human rights in a way that can better make sense of salient aspects of the international practice, such as the importance of legalization and the idea of equal status.
The MultiRights seminars are organised by the MultiRights project on the multi-level human rights judiciary. They provide a forum for discussions for researchers from various backgrounds, including law, philosophy and political science. The seminars take place on a regular basis on Tuesdays and are open for all.