By Michael Ignatieff, Amy Gutmann
Michael Ignatieff attracts on his large adventure as a author and commentator on international affairs to give a penetrating account of the successes, mess ups, and clients of the human rights revolution. because the United countries followed the common announcement of Human Rights in 1948, this revolution has introduced the area ethical growth and damaged the nation-state's monopoly at the behavior of foreign affairs. however it has additionally confronted demanding situations. Ignatieff argues that human rights activists have rightly drawn feedback from Asia, the Islamic international, and in the West itself for being overambitious and unwilling to just accept limits. it truly is now time, he writes, for activists to embody a extra modest schedule and to reestablish the stability among the rights of states and the rights of citizens.
Ignatieff starts off via studying the politics of human rights, assessing while it's acceptable to take advantage of the very fact of human rights abuse to justify intervention in different international locations. He then explores the information that underpin human rights, caution that human rights mustn't ever develop into an idolatry. within the spirit of Isaiah Berlin, he argues that human rights can command common assent provided that they're designed to guard and increase the means of people to steer the lives they want. by means of embracing this procedure and spotting that nation sovereignty is the simplest warrantly opposed to chaos, Ignatieff concludes, Western international locations can have a greater probability of extending the genuine development of the prior fifty years. all through, Ignatieff balances idealism with a yes experience of useful fact earned from his years of trip in zones of conflict and political turmoil round the globe.
Based at the Tanner Lectures that Ignatieff brought at Princeton University's middle for Human Values in 2000, the ebook comprises chapters by means of Ignatieff, an creation through Amy Gutmann, reviews via 4 prime scholars--K. Anthony Appiah, David A. Hollinger, Thomas W. Laqueur, and Diane F. Orentlicher--and a reaction by way of Ignatieff.