This book presents a valuable clarification and defence of human rights by Italy's leading political theorist.
Preface to the English Edition Part I 1. On the Fundamental Principles of Human Rights 2. Human Rights Now and in the Future 3. The Age of Rights 4. Human Rights and Society 5. Human Rights Today Part II 6. The French Revolution and Human Rights 7. The Legacy of the Great Revolution 8. Kant and the French Revolution Part III 9. Against the Death Penalty 10. The Current Debate on the Death Penalty Index
'The Italian political thinker lends some much-needed backbone to the vague liberal rhetoric of human rights. Notably clear in its grasp of the wide gap between paper rights and actual freedoms.' New Statesman and Society 'Great assurance, intelligence, clarity of vision, and lucidity of argument.' Radical Philosophy 'It makes a thoughtful contribution.' Policy
In this important book Norberto Bobbio - one of the leading political thinkers of our time - provides a valuable clarification and defence of human rights. He argues that the development of human rights is an historical sign of progress in a world marked by the proliferation of cruel wars, the arms trade, pollution, famine and almost universal pessimism. Drawing widely on the work of Kant, Locke, Beccaria, and Paine, Bobbio argues that the French Revolution is a crucial event in moulding our ideas and attitudes today. He suggests that the proclamation of rights does not necessarily mean that those rights are actually enforced. He carefully traces the development of human rights through various 'generations' - libertarian, social, ecological - and argues that the recognition and effective protection of human rights are the foundations of modern democratic institutions. Human rights, democracy and peace are the three essential components of the same historical movement.
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