Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Mortimer Sellers, Stephan Kirste

Human Right to Democracy

  • Thomas ChristianoEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6730-0_141-1

The central question concerning the human right to democracy is whether there is such a genuine moral right. Some kind of legal human right to democracy appears to be a part of international law (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966, Article 25). But there is a lot of dispute as to whether there is any such moral right (Buchanan 2013; Cohen 2006; Gould 2004). In order to answer this question, we must examine some different possible conceptions of human rights, and we must examine some different conceptions of democracy. Finally, we will look at what, if any, justification can be offered for the idea that there is a genuine moral human right to democracy. In general, I will use the term “human right to x” with the understanding that we are talking about a moral right to x of a particular sort. When I refer to legal rights, I will explicitly flag the legal character of the right.

Human Rights

There are in contemporary thought about human rights broadly speaking two...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Beitz C (2009) The idea of human rights. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Buchanan A (2013) The heart of human rights. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Christiano T (2011) An instrumental argument for a human right to democracy. Philos Public Aff 39:142–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Christiano T (2014) An egalitarian argument for a human right to democracy. In: Holder C, Reidy D (eds) Human rights: the hard questions. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  5. Christiano T (2016) Self-determination and the human right to democracy. In: Cruft R, Renzo M (eds) Philosophical foundations of human rights. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  6. Cohen J (2004) Minimalism about human rights: the most we can hope for? J Polit Philos 12(2):190–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cohen J (2006) Is there a human right to democracy? In: The egalitarian conscience. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  8. Gould C (2004) Globalizing democracy and human rights. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Griffin J (2008) On human rights. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Grotius H (2005) In: Tuck R (ed) The rights of war and peace book I. Liberty Fund, IndianapolisGoogle Scholar
  11. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume999/volume-999-I-14668-English
  12. Kant I (1996) The metaphysics of morals (ed and trans: Gregor M). Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  13. Locke J (1980) In: Macpherson CB (ed) Second treatise on civil government. Hackett Publishers, IndianapolisGoogle Scholar
  14. Mill JS (2002) In: Sher G (ed) Utilitarianism, 2nd edn. Hackett Publishers, IndianapolisGoogle Scholar
  15. Miller D (2008) National responsibility and global justice. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  16. Nickel J (2007) Making sense of human rights, 2nd edn. Wiley Blackwell, LondonGoogle Scholar
  17. O’Neill O (2005) The dark side of human rights. International Affairs 81(2)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Pogge T (2008) World poverty and human rights, 2nd edn. Polity Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. Rawls J (2001) The law of peoples. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  20. Shue H (1996) Basic rights: subsistence, affluence and U. S. foreign policy, 2nd edn. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  21. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948.) http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/
  22. Vitoria F (1991) On the American Indians. In: Pagden A (ed) Political writings. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  23. WIN/Gallup International Voice of the People Poll (2015)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ArizonaTucsonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Tetsu Sakurai
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Intercultural StudiesKobe UniversityKobeJapan