Strengthening human rights protections in Geneva, Israel, the West Bank and beyond

Joseph E David (Editor), Yuval Shany (Editor), Joseph Weiler (Editor), Yael Ronen

Research output: Book/ReportBook


"Contemporary philosophers remind us that the conceptual bases of human rights law, human rights movements and human rights discourse are not sufficiently grounded, tend to overlook the distinction between values and rights and engage inadequately with the practice of human rights. Other commentators criticize human rights on practical bases casting doubts on whether human rights treaties have indeed improved the well-being of people, or even resulted in respect for the rights in those treaties. Such criticisms emphasize the relative weakness of humanitarian impulse that underlay human rights law and the unsystematic strategic and instrumental bases for human rights. Yet, from a functional perspective the idea of human rights asserts itself as a timeless and self-evident truth, rather than a set of subjective beliefs about human beings. It presents itself as a supra-contextual concept, not a contingent outcome of historical experience and cultural circumstance. Yet to ignore the contextual cultural values and political settings in which the idea of human rights emerged and ascended would be something between naïveté and denial. Human rights talk is thus entrapped in ambivalence between rejection of contingency and acknowledgment of historicity. The insistence that human rights rest on fundamental, ahistorical truths is crucial to the argument that the validity"--
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge, United Kingdom; New York, NY
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages268
ISBN (Electronic)1108833128, 1108968171, 110897306X, 9781108833127, 9781108973069
StatePublished - 2021

ULI publications

  • uli
  • Human rights -- Israel
  • Human rights and international law
  • International law and human rights


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