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The Liberal Project and Human Rights


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Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. Liberal Beginnings: 1. The contextual origin of liberal thought and practice; 2. The Westphalian society of sovereign states; 3. The growth of liberal universalism; Part II. UN Regime on Human Rights: 4. The UN and regional declarations and covenants on human rights; 5. The right of peoples to self-determination; 6. Right to development; 7. Women's international human rights; 8. The implementation of international human rights; Part III. Critique and Defence of Liberalism: 9. Western critiques of liberal human rights; 10. Liberalism and non-western cultures; 11. In defence of liberalism.

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Shows how the UN regime on human rights has transformed national and international society in accordance with liberal values.

About the Author

John Charvet is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics. Elisa Kaczynska-Nay is a lawyer and researcher, working on issues of economic development and international law.


'This is an exceptionally valuable book. It combines an admirably clear and well written analysis of the theory and practice of international society with a rigorous examination and defence of the underlying philosophy on which it rests. The result is tough-minded liberal theory at its very best.' Professor James Mayall, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge 'Liberalism, assailed from all sides in the great political and legal debates of our time, is defended staunchly and deftly in this expansive and sensitive book. Charvet and Nay combine their talents to produce a meticulous account of a human rights order embedded in the political practice of liberalism.' Professor Gerry Simpson, London School of Economics 'This book provides a sustained and comprehensive defence of liberal thought and practice in contemporary international affairs. It bridges the divide between the abstract work of political philosophers and the technical tomes of international lawyers ... Particularly impressive are the discussions of the standard criticisms that are made by contemporary opponents of liberal theory and practice' Professor Mervyn Frost, King's College London

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