Publication details

Výzkum lidských práv: Kritická reflexe současných přístupů

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Title in English Research on Human Rights: Critical Reflection of Current Approaches


Year of publication 2016
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Středoevropské politické studie
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Law

Web Open access časopisu
Field Political sciences
Keywords Human Rights; Legitimacy; International Law; International Courts; Effectiveness
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Description The review essay discusses current critical approaches towards international human rights regimes and categorises them according to their normative, functional, and methodological bases. The paper builds on four recent books which are examples of current relevant positions in human rights scholarship. The books focus, respectively, on a critical examination of human rights historiography, on the functioning of international human rights regimes, on their legitimacy, and finally on the impact of international human rights in the national context. We claim that despite the different backgrounds and topics of the books, all these works can be clustered around three kinds of issues: (1) normative concerns, i.e. those denouncing the very existence and content of international human rights regimes; (2) functional concerns, i.e. those asking whether international human rights bodies have a real effect on the quality of human rights protection in individual countries. (3) Finally, the third group of concerns is driven by the increasing need for the implementation of both qualitative and quantitative methods challenging previous empirical findings (and the lack thereof) on the functioning of human rights regimes. We argue that some positions are practically irreconcilable and that the debate will probably continue for some time without reaching common ground.
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