Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee

Global Human Rights Culture

  • Michael Allen
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_609

The notion of a global human rights culture is best understood by way of contrast with theorizations of human rights aligned with the traditions of natural law and natural rights. In these latter traditions, human rights are not understood as cultural constructions, but rather as commandments of universal human reason. Such commandments indeed derive from the order of nature and the structure of human reason itself. As pre-social and pre-political, they are binding on all human beings, regardless of particular social memberships, political regimes, and, more particularly, cultural identifications. In this respect, human rights amount to independent normative standards that function as the basis for criticizing societies, states, and cultures worldwide, should any of the latter fail to live up to the universally binding commandments of common human reason. Consequently, current international human rights law is to be understood, in turn, as entrenching these entirely independent...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Allen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyEast Tennessee State UniversityJohnson CityUSA