This review essay highlights the limitations and possibilities of a global human rights order based on an analysis of five recently published books about human rights. The main argument states that reform of the global human rights order requires not only a shift to a more emancipatory notion of human dignity but also an emphasis on global justice and material compensation within and between the Global North and Global South.
Human dignity, in this essay, embraces all types of human rights claims, ranging from political rights to socio-economic rights, among many others. The essay proposes a three-pronged reform of international human rights: (1) a shift from Western human rights to the more inclusive and pluralist notion of human dignity; (2) the promotion of global justice by rewriting the rules of global economic governance; and (3) mandatory political education on human rights and human dignity.
Human rights, arms trade, intergovernmental organizations, European Union, United States, human dignity
Amidst the recent resurgence of illiberal politics, how and under what set of conditions can we hope to reform the global human rights order? That overarching question inspires this essay, which reviews five recently published books that represent some of the finest scholarly works on the global politics of human rights norms.