Egalitarian Rights Recognition

A Political Theory of Human Rights

  • Matt Hann

Part of the International Political Theory book series (IPoT)

Table of contents

About this book


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.


Hannah Arendt Thomas Hill Green cosmopolitanism egalitarianism equality Natural Rights theory children cognition father human rights law political science political theory politics school social justice social science

Authors and affiliations

  • Matt Hann
    • 1
  1. 1.Durham UniversityDurhamUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information