Human rights - some theoretical questions
The idea of human rights, a desired objective for many, becomes extremely complex and hardly consensual when is a matter of defining it conceptually. How one can talk about universal human rights and, at the same time, respect the particularities of each community? Is it possible the coexistence of apparently exclusionary institutional arrangements, such as sovereign national states that presuppose the centralized control by the state of coertion and binding legislation and political organizations with an inter- or supranational character, such as the UN, CSOs or NGOs, some of which also aiming at ensuing commands and declarations with a binding character?
Such questions do not seem to yield easy answers. The very term 'human rights' is attached to many presuppositions, as, for example, the connection between the concept and the political and juridical institutions of the modern world: without specific constitutional rights, guaranteed, as a last resort, by state coercion, it is impossible to think of binding commands capable of assuring such rights. On the other hand, the international juridical system of human rights has been expanded through multilateral conventions that adopt implementation mechanisms whose nature cannot be clearly defined.
Changes in the direction of the theoretical debates, such as the one outlined above, requires therefore an effort to systemize the debate, so one can obtain a better conceptual comprehension of the relevant issues.
Kritsch Raquel (Brazil)
Professor in Political Sciences
Department of Social Sciences Center of Human Sciences
Estate University of Londrina
Doctor degree: University of São Paulo (FFLCH-USP)
Author of the book: "Sovereignty: the making of a concept". São paulo: Humanitas-Imprensa Oficial, 2002, 571 p.
Since 2001 Professor at the Estate University of Londrina
Main areas: Political Theory; History of Political Thought
(Virtual Presentation, English or Portuguese)