This book takes a distinctive and innovative approach to a relatively under-explored question, namely: Why do we have human rights? Much political discourse simply proceeds from the idea that humans have rights because they are human without seriously interrogating this notion. Egalitarian Rights Recognition offers an account of how human rights are created and how they may be seen to be legitimate: rights are created through social recognition. By combining readings of 19th Century English philosopher T.H. Green with 20th Century political theorist Hannah Arendt, the author constructs a new theory of the social recognition of rights. He challenges both the standard 'natural rights' approach and also the main accounts of the social recognition of rights which tend to portray social recognition as settled norms or established ways of acting. In contrast, Hann puts forward a 10-point account of the dynamic and contingent social recognition of human rights, which emphasises the importance of meaningful socio-economic equality.
Matt Hann received his PhD in political theory, focussing on the theoretical justifications of human rights, in 2014 from Durham University, UK. Before this, he studied at Durham and at Universität Konstanz, Germany. He has published work in journals including Political Theory and the Journal of Moral Philosophy.
Introduction.- Chapter 1: T.H. Green and the social recognition of rights.- Chapter 2: Hannah Arendt: the paradox of the Rights of Man, the political community, judgment, and recognition.- Chapter 3: Societies of rights: what does a political community look like?.- Chapter 4: Rights recognition and cosmopolitanism: global egalitarian rights recognition.- Conclusion-. Bibliography.- Index.