Book Review: The Heart of Human Rights

Book review by Alain Zysset of Allen Buchanan's book The Heart of Human Rights in the Nordic Journal of International Law Vol. 86.


Allen Buchanan’s The Heart of Human Rights is the ground-breaking normative assessment of the international human rights system that his previous Justice, Legitimacy and Self-Determination 1 was to the broader international legal system about ten years ago. While the first was simply one of the first evaluations of the international legal and political system from a normative standpoint, the second builds upon the fast-developing literature on the normative foundations of human rights in the predominantly analytic tradition of moral and political theory over the past decade. The ambition is however similar: taking international legal institutions and practices seriously. In this review, I first reconstruct how Buchanan successfully paves a third way in the literature in normative human rights theory before turning to a two-fold critique focused on the role of law in his account.

Access the article on Brill

Tags: Human Rights
Published June 21, 2017 9:35 AM - Last modified Aug. 23, 2019 11:17 AM