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Series: Central Problems of Philosophy
Author(s): Duncan Ivison  
ISBN: 1844650812
ISBN-13: 9781844650811
Publication Date: 31/12/2007
Pages: 296 (198 x 129mm)
Format: Paperback
Published Price: £14.99
Discount Price: £11.99
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The language of rights pervades modern social and political discourse, yet there is deep disagreement amongst citizens, politicians and philosophers about just what rights are. In this comprehensive and engaging introduction to rights, Duncan Ivison pays particular attention to their political character: the way arguments about rights are characterized by disagreement and conflict and by movement between the moral and the legal and the abstract and the practical.

Ivison presents three basic ways of thinking about rights – as statuses, instruments and conduits – and, drawing on the history of political thought and contemporary political theory, explores the different ways these frameworks shape particular theories of rights.. He uses some of the current debates over the threat of global terrorism to explore the nature of rights, especially those civil and political rights at the heart of liberal democracy. Various critiques of rights – Marxist, postmodernist and feminist – are examined and the book concludes by exploring what, exactly, we should want from a theory of human rights today and what role this theory should play in global politics.

The book offers a distinctive integration of history and theory as applied to questions about the nature of rights today and is ideally suited for students taking courses on moral and political philosophy, political theory and the history of political thought.


"An important and original contribution to the philosophy of rights." – Political Studies

"By skillfully illuminating the political character of rights, and showing how the political informs particular solutions to perennial problems in the theory of rights, Ivison provides a valuable service to philosophers." – Derrick Darby, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

“An excellent introduction for students and an original and compelling account of rights.” – David Owen, University of Southampton

"A lucid and extremely comprehensive survey of the historical and contemporary literature on rights."Colin Bird, University of Virginia

Duncan Ivison is Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Sydney.

1. A naturalistic approach
2. Natural law and natural rights
3. Rights as property
4. Dignity
5. Recognition
6. Rights, consequences and terrorism
7. Rights as conduits
8. Human rights

Also available in Hardback (1844650804), priced 45.00

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