Between Rights and Responsibilities

The last decade has witnessed an increased criticism against the human rights paradigm for its obsession with the ‘culture of claims and rights’. These discussions are far from only theoretical or abstract. They bear consequences in everyday life, as evidenced in a number of areas, such as globalization, terrorism, multiculturalism, etc.
Stephan Parmentier, Hans Werdmölder, Michaël Merrigan
boek | verschenen | 1e editie
juli 2016 | xvi + 264 blz.


€ 49,- € 70,-

ISBN 9789050958868


€ 70,-

ISBN 9781780685113

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The last decade has witnessed increased criticism of the classical human rights paradigm for its obsession with the ‘culture of claims and rights’. According to its critics, this culture has led to an obsession with the rights of individuals at the expense of focusing on groups and communities worldwide, and moreover, neglecting responsibilities and duties. It is also argued that the Western emphasis on the rights of individuals should be overcome by paying more attention to the responsibilities of individuals and collectivities as represented in other cultures of the world, and several documents have been drafted to this effect. These discussions, and the ensuing documents, are far from only theoretical or abstract but are grounded in day-to-day realities, as the ongoing debates on globalisation, multiculturalism, terrorism, and the like clearly illustrate.
This volume comprises ten original chapters that were presented for the first time at a colloquium held at the Faculty of Law of the University of Leuven (Belgium) back in 2006, and subsequently reworked and fine-tuned over the years. Part I sets the scene of the debate about fundamental rights and fundamental responsibilities, while in Part II the implications of an emphasis on responsibilities, duties and obligations are concretised in specific areas and through specific cases. This book cannot answer all the questions posed by the changing realities of rights and responsibilities in today’s world, which is undergoing profound changes. However, it does aim to shed new light on important problems related to some of the major transformations occurring in European and Western societies and the ensuing changes in philosophical, political, social and legal thinking. It is therefore directed to academics, as well as policy-makers at various levels, the media and any person interested in a deeper understanding of new challenges for the modern world.


Contents (p. 0)

Introduction. Toward an Integrated Vision of Rights and Responsibilities (p. 1)

Stephan Parmentier, Hans Werdmölder, Michaël Merrigan


Human Rights and Human Responsibilities. Setting the Ethical and the Conceptual Scene (p. 11)

Rights, Responsibilities and Duties for the Civil Society. Moral Challenges Put Forward by the Millenium Development Goals (p. 35)

Steering Clear of the Twin Shoals of a Rights-Based Morality and a Duty-Based Legality (p. 51)

Human Duties and Responsibilities for the Reinforcement of Human Rights. The Declaration of Human Duties and Responsibilities (1998) (p. 67)


Human Rights in a Globalising Economy. Is the Right to Social Protection Qualified by a Duty to Work? (p. 83)

Human Rights in a Globalising Economy. Rights and Responsibilities of Trade Unions (p. 113)

Fundamental Rights and Responsibilities within a Multicultural Society (p. 125)

From Lawless to a Human Rights Approach in the Fight Against Terrorism. The Council of Europe Standards (p. 141)

Children's Rights at a Dignitarian Horizon of Responsible Parenthood (p. 157)

Individuals' Duties in the African Human Rights Protection System. Challenges and Prospects (p. 187)

Declaration of Human Duties and Responsibilities (p. 229)

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