Book Launch : Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights

Friday 16 October 2015, 5-7pm.

Moot Court, Somerset House East Wing, King’s College London.

What makes something a human right? What is the relationship between the moral foundations of human rights and human rights law? What are the difficulties of appealing to human rights?
This book offers the first comprehensive survey of current thinking on the philosophical foundations of human rights. Divided into four parts, this book focuses firstly on the moral grounds of human rights, for example in our dignity, agency, interests or needs. Secondly, it looks at the implications that different moral perspectives on human rights bear for human rights law and politics. Thirdly, it discusses specific and topical human rights including freedom of expression and religion, security, health and more controversial rights such as a human right to subsistence. The final part discusses nuanced critical and reformative views on human rights from feminist, Kantian and relativist perspectives among others.

Edited by Rowan Cruft, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Stirling, S. Matthew Liao, Director of the Bioethics Program and Affiliated Professor of Philosophy, New York University, and Massimo Renzo, Reader, Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy and Law, King’s College London.

Featured speaker: Massimo Renzo previously was Associate Professor at the University of Warwick. His main research interests are in the problems of authority, political obligation, international justice and the philosophical foundations of the criminal law. He is co-editor, with R.A. Duff, Lindsay Farmer, Sandra Marshall and Victor Tadros, of the volumes The Constitutions of the Criminal Law (OUP 2010) and The Structures of the Criminal Law (OUP 2011).

There will be 20% off flyers for the book and the launch will be accompanied by refreshments.

To RSVP, please email


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