1. Human Rights in History.
The Ancient Classical World.
The World of the Bible.
The Medieval World.
Renaissance and Reformation Thought.
Hobbes and Rousseau.
Revolution in England.
The French Declaration of the Rights of Man.
English Resistance to Human Rights.
German Developments: Kant and Marx.
2. The Modern Human Rights Movement.
The Charter of the United Nations Organization.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights.
Wider Human Rights Developments.
3. Clarifying Human Rights.
Some Useful Distinctions.
Rights and Duties.
The Proliferation of Rights.
Selfishness and Social Divisiveness.
A Challenge to All Cultures.
The Strengths of Human Rights.
4. Establishing Human Rights.
A Matter of Belief.
An Essential Requirement.
The Nature of Persons.
“The Wonder of Our Being”.
5. The Globalizing of Human Rights.
Seeking a Global Ethic.
Global Human Rights.
The Inadequacies of States.
“Mahoney's text is excellent; it makes complicated issues accessible without lapsing into oversimplification. This is no small achievement and makes the text especially well-suited to undergraduate teaching. The range of issues covered is surprisingly comprehensive yet by no means superficial. The combination of philosophy and history is a major virtue.” Maurice Wade, Trinity College
"Mahoney carefully surveys and discusses the various attempts to explain human rights in order to formulate a single, compelling, logical proof for their existence."
America, The National Catholic Weekly<!--end-->
"This book may be useful as an introduction to the concept of human rights." Journal of Peace Research
- Provides an engaging study of the origin and the philosophical and political development of human rights discourse.
- Offers an original defence of human rights.
- Explores the significance of human rights in the context of increasing globalisation.
- Confronts the major objections to human rights, including the charge of western ethical imperialism and cultural relativism.
Argues that human rights logically culminate in an ethical cosmopolitanism to reflect the moral unity of the human race.