On the Value of Human Rights

Dies ist ein Gastbeitrag von Florian Hoffmann. Er ist Teil des Symposiums „Constitutions of Value“ (Projekt 03) und wurde zuvor auf dem Verfassungsblog veröffentlicht.

Human rights engage questions of value, values and valuation. However, to directly inquire about the ´value of rights´ has long been seen as sacrilegious by many in the human rights community who have tended to treat rights as absolute trumps over politics. Following the (still) dominant Western liberal script, rights are here seen to articulate, in the form of individual entitlements vis-à-vis public authority, the fundamental precepts of subjective personal autonomy, which, in turn, is deemed to be constitutive of the human condition and human dignity. As such, rights represent not a set of values relative to other values, but the absolute value of human beings who are, in the Kantian formula, ´ends unto themselves´. Yet, this (liberal) conception, and the human rights law-faring practice it underwrites, has of late come under severe attack from various sides. Weiterlesen