Human Rights and Their Limits




Author: Wiktor Osiatynski
Type: eBook
Date Released: 2009
Format: pdf
Language: English
Page Count: 262
Isbn10 Code: 0521125235
Isbn13 Code: 9780521125239


Review "Wiktor Osiatynski has devoted over four decades to promoting human rights in every part of the the world, while thinking deeply in print and otherwise, about the scope and limits of these efforts. This book, the product of those decades, combines profound practical wisdom with wide-ranging scholarship and intellectual rigor. His sensitivity to values and needs other than human rights will not make everyone happy, but for anyone who wants to advance these rights in a very complicated world, this book is required reading." --Herman Schwartz, Professor of Law, The American University Washington College of Law; Author of The Struggle For Constitutional Justice in Post-Communist Europe (Chicago 2001) "In Human Rights and Their Limits, Professor Wiktor Osiatynski sets forth a "soft universalism" conception of human rights that focuses on satisfying basic human needs and respecting different cultures, but retreats from the imposition of a particular rights regime. Drawing upon his extensive work on human rights issues in Poland and other transitional countries, Professor Osiatynski details the sociopolitical environments that are most likely to foster development of such rights. His compelling account imagines human rights as a framework of aspirational principles tailored to fit individual states and peoples, interweaving history and philosophy as entry points for illustration and debate. Professor Osiatynski concludes that although human rights are worthy goals, they must be weighed against other competing social and cultural values. Overall, Human Rights and Their Limits offers a valuable contribution to the existing human rights literature by identifying competing social values and redefining universal rights in more pragmatic terms. Harvard Law Review Book Description Human Rights and Their Limits deals with social, political, cultural, and ethical issues related to human rights. Chapters on the history of human rights show how great powers tried to use rights for their own purposes and how the weak and powerless used rights for the growth of freedom. Osiatyński argues that although rights are a prerequisite of freedom, they should be balanced with other values that are indispensable for social harmony and personal happiness.

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