This fully revised and extended edition of James Nickel’s classic study explains and defends the conception of human rights found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(1948) and subsequent human rights treaties. Combining philosophical, legal, and political approaches, Nickel addresses questions about what human rights are, what their content should be, and whether and how they can be justified.
After outlining the contemporary conception of human rights, and developing and applying an original framework for the justification of particular rights, Nickel goes on to defend contemporary lists of human rights, covering fundamental freedoms, due process rights, social rights, and minority rights. The book also considers the issue of cultural relativism and the prospects for worldwide acceptance of human rights.
Making Sense of Human Rights is suitable for use as a text in university and law school courses on human rights. The texts of key human rights documents and treaties are included as appendixes.