Saladin Meckled-Garcia
University College London
A branch of political philosophy treats human rights as the output of democratic deliberations by a certain kind of polity. This school, represented by theorists like Benhabib and Besson, do not see detailed human rights as constraints on legitimacy but rather as the specification of abstract human rights (such as the "right to have rights") in terms of obligations and the distribution of burdens. This paper argues that the position is untenable as the notion of democratic decision-making depends on sufficiently clear and specified human rights standards and the political respect they guarantee. Furthermore, the form that any democratic deliberation will take must express respect and reasonableness towards both rights recipients and burden-bearers. To do so, a clear sense of human rights must exist as a threshold, as must standards of societal justice and fairness. Human rights must come first, as a background condition of democracy.
Keywords democracy  human rights  deliberation  legitimacy  Benhabib  political equality  equal respect  justice
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DOI 10.1080/13698230.2014.930783
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References found in this work BETA

Justice for Hedgehogs.Ronald Dworkin - 2011 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
The Law of Peoples.John Rawls - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203):246-253.
Minimalism About Human Rights: The Most We Can Hope For?Joshua Cohen - 2004 - Journal of Political Philosophy 12 (2):190–213.
Introduction.Maksymilian Del Mar Rowan Cruft - 2013 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 30 (1):53-56.

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Citations of this work BETA

Political Legitimacy, Authoritarianism, and Climate Change.Ross Mittiga - forthcoming - American Political Science Review.
Defending a Cosmopolitanism Without Illusions. Reply to My Critics.Seyla Benhabib - 2014 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 17 (6):697-715.
Two Concepts of Justice – and of its Scope.Saladin Meckled-Garcia - 2016 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 19 (5):534-554.

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