The Limits of Human Rights

ISBN : 9780198824756

Bardo Fassbender; Knut Traisbach
416 ページ
156 x 156 mm

What are the limits of human rights, and what do these limits mean? This volume engages critically and constructively with this question to provide a distinct contribution to the contemporary discussion on human rights. Fassbender and Traisbach, along with a group of leading experts in the field, examine the issue from multiple disciplinary perspectives, analysing the limits of our current discourse of human rights. It does so in an original way, and without attempting to deconstruct, or deny, human rights. Each contribution is supplemented by an engaging comment which furthers this important discussion. This combination of perspectives paves the way for further thought for scholars, practitioners, students, and the wider public. Ultimately, this volume provides an exceptionally rich spectrum of viewpoints and arguments across disciplines to offer fresh insights into human rights and its limitations.


Bardo Fassbender and Knut Traisbach: Introduction: A Ride on the Human Rights Bus
Henry J. Steiner: Prologue: Limits and their Varieties
Part 1. Limits of Ideas, Limits of Communities: Paradigms and Biases
1 Lynn Hunt: Humanity and the Claim to Self-Evidence
2 Bardo Fassbender: The Self-Evidence of Human Rights: Origins and Limits of an Idea
3 Kate Nash: Human Rights, Global Justice, and the Limits of Law
4 Mark Goodale: Human Rights beyond the Double Bind of Sovereignty: A Response to Kate Nash
5 David Dyzenhaus: Emergencies and Human Rights: A Hobbesian Analysis
6 Conor Gearty: Reason, Faith, and Feelings: A Response to David Dyzenhaus
Part 2. Limits of Functions, Limits of Uses: Actors and Practices
7 Christian Reus-Smit: Being a Realist about Human Rights
8 Basak Cali: Political Limits of International Human Rights: A Response (or a Rejoinder) to Christian Reus-Smit
9 Jan Klabbers: Human Rights Bodies and the Structure of Institutional Obligation
10 Rosa Freedman and Ruth Houghton: Dissecting the Institution: A Response to Jan Klabbers
11 Aryeh Neier: Differentiating Fundamental Rights and Economic Goals
12 Jeremy Perelman: Advocating for Social and Economic Rights-Critical Perspectives: A Response to Aryeh Neier
Part 3. Limits of Scope, Limits of Recognition: The Case of Women's Rights
13 Hilary Charlesworth and Christine Chinkin: Between the Margins and the Mainstream: The Case of Women's Rights
14 Bai Guimei: Women's Rights are Human Rights: A Response to Hilary Charlesworth and Christine Chinkin from a Chinese Perspective
15 Martha C. Nussbaum: Women's Progress and Women's Human Rights
16 Fareda Banda: The Limits of Law: A Response to Martha C Nussbaum
Part 4. Limits of Pragmatism, Limits of Compromise: The Case of Armed Conflict
17 Frederic Megret: The Limits of the Laws of War
18 Knut Traisbach: The Banality of Humanity (as an Absolute): A Response to Frederic Megret
19 Andrew Clapham: The Limits of Human Rights in Times of Armed Conflict and Other Situations of Armed Violence
20 Yuval Shany: The End of the War/Peace Limit on the Application of International Human Rights Law: A Response to Andrew Clapham
Part 5. Limits of Prospects, Limits of Means: An Outlook
21 Mireille Delmas-Marty: The Limits of Human Rights in a Moving World-Elements of a Dynamic Approach
22 Marie-Benedicte Dembour: Where are the Limits of Human Rights? Four Schools, four Complementary Visions: A Response to Mireille Delmas-Marty
23 Douglas A. Johnson and Kathryn Sikkink: Strategizing for Human Rights: From Ideals to Practice
24 Micheline Ishay: Historical Strategies for Human Rights: A Response to Kathryn Sikkink and Douglas Johnson


Bardo Fassbender is Professor of International Law, European Law and Public Law at the University of St. Gallen. He studied law, history and political science at the University of Bonn (Germany) and holds an LL.M from Yale Law School and a Doctor iuris from the Humboldt University in Berlin, where he also completed his Habilitation and became Privatdozent for the disciplines of public law, international law, European law and constitutional history. He was a Ford Foundation Senior Fellow in Public International Law at Yale University and a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence. Before joining the University of St. Gallen in 2013, he held the chair in international law and human rights law at the Bundeswehr University in Munich. His principal fields of research are public international law, United Nations law, comparative constitutional law and theory, and the history of international and constitutional law.; Knut Traisbach is Associate Professor in International Law at the University of Barcelona and tutor for three international postgraduate programmes on international affairs and diplomacy organised by UNITAR and UOC. He holds degrees from Humboldt University Berlin, the European University Institute and was a visiting researcher at Yale Law School. He has held positions as lecturer, programme director, researcher and course convenor in the areas of international law, human rights and international relations at various higher education and research institutions in Berlin, Florence, Venice and Barcelona. His main research interests include meaningful interdisciplinary and critical approaches to international law, human rights and international relations theory.