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Human Rights as Unique Rights— An Analysis of Raz’s Political Concept of Human Rights
October 17,2021   By:CSHRS
Human Rights as Unique Rights
 
An Analysis of Raz’s Political Concept of Human Rights
 
YAN Hailiang*
 
Abstract: The practice of international human rights has led to the development of the political notion of human rights in contemporary times and triggered the theoretical reflection on “what are human rights.” The natural rights view, which is based on human nature, regards human rights as universal moral rights owned by everyone against all others. Holding a different perspective from the natural rights view, Raz, the representative of the political notion of human rights, bases his view on the political function of human rights in restricting national sovereignty in international practice and defines human rights as the legal rights enjoyed by everyone against the country since the end of the World War II , which should be enforced by fair and reliable international institutions. Unavoidably, Raz’s concept of human rights has been subject to questioning and criticism by natural right theorists. The controversy around Raz’s concept of human rights shows that: on one hand, the Western academic circle has not readied a basic consensus on the understanding of human rights based on international human rights practice; on the other hand, it deeply reveals the theoretical need for the international community to reach a basic consensus on international human rights practice in the historical context of the changing international legal order.
 
Keywords: political view of human rights·natural rights · national sovereignty ·legal rights
 
Human rights are the realist utopia of human beings. 1
 
— Jürgen Habermas
 
Although the universal rise of the concept of human rights started from the endof World War II, the truly good era for human rights began with the end of the Cold War. On the one hand, human rights have since been almost universally implemented2,and become a common international concern3. On the other hand, practice in the name of human rights not only demonstrates the value of individual life but is also witness to the changes in the order of international law.4 The contemporary practice of international human rights has triggered a reflection on human rights in a globalized world, and contributed to the development of the political conception of human rights represented and presented by Raz.5 This poses a challenge to the dominant view of natural rights and causes wide controversies about “what human rights are”6, so much so that most scholars today who study human rights can be classified into one of these two opposing camps.7
 
According to the concept of natural rights, human rights are nothing more than a modern term for natural rights and are universal moral rights that everyone should enjoy as a human being in relation to all others. Therefore, we only need to consider whether the main interests attached to us as human beings are enough to make others have the obligation to respect and protect human rights, instead of understanding human rights from the perspective of human rights practice or in accordance with the basic political functions of human rights in the real world. In contrast, in Raz’s view, although “there may be universal human rights that people have based solely on their humanity”8, it fails to reflect and grasp the special meanings of protecting “the value of human life” through restricting national sovereignty after the end of World War II, especially since the end of the Cold War, and therefore fails to provide an effective normative explanation for the development of contemporary human rights. For this reason, from the perspective of international human rights practice in the “emerging world order”, Raz proposes a political view of human rights, believing that human rights are special because they are the rights that restrict national sovereignty and human rights. He believes that human rights are a legal right in the globalized world enjoyed by people and should be enforced by fair and reliable international institutions.
 
Although he is not the only advocate of the political view of human rights9, Raz as an outstanding representative of a political view of human rights is the only expounder and advocate who follows the interest theory path for rights and provides a sufficient and systematic argument and defense for the political view of human rights based on accepting part of the moral reasoning of the natural rights theory. Although his concept of human rights has been subject to questioning and criticism by natural rights theorists since the concept was first put forward, his concept undeniably reflects the development of Western human rights theory in the era of globalization. To this end, this article will analyze his theory from the following perspectives. First, the article provides an analysis of the basic context in which Raz proposes his concept of human rights. Second, it systematically explains the basic meaning of his concept of human rights following the path of Raz’s argument from rights to human rights, i.e. human rights are “synchronous universal rights”, “rights that restrict national sovereignty” and “a legal right in the globalized world that is enjoyed by people and should be enforced by fair and reliable international institutions.” Third, because of these three ideas of Raz’s concept of human rights, this article systematically examines questions and criticisms of different scholars, especially those criticisms raised by natural rights theorists. Finally, the article summarizes Raz’s concept of human rights and the disputes and proposes a theory of how to reach a consensus around the practice of international human rights in the international community.
 
I. Raz’s Concept of Human Rights
 
World War II was a landmark event in human history. It not only made human beings think deeply about themselves but also directly led to the establishment of an international legal order that “enhances and encourages respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all human beings.”10 Since then, especially after the end of the Cold War, not only have human rights gradually gained the status of the lingua franca of the world’s ethics,11 but also “the practice of international human rights has also accelerated the pace, so much so that in international relations and the political life of many states, the role, and importance of rights usually recognized as human rights have changed.”12 In the context of the rapid changes in the international legal order, it is imperative to figure out how to understand human rights in international practice. The political human rights theory advocated by Raz as a representative emerged in response. Specifically, Raz’s concept of human rights has come into being mainly for the following two reasons.
 
A. The need for theoretical explanations for the practice of human rights in the changing international legal order
 
Since the end of the Second World War, the development of international human rights has roughly gone through three phases as follows.13 The first phase started from the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945 and ended in 1976. During this phase,three international human rights documents collectively referred to as the “International Bill of Human Rights” were adopted, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966),and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966). Although the formulation of international human rights documents continues to this day, it is this phase that laid down the normative foundation for the development of human rights. The second phase started in 1976 and ended in 1989. This phase was mainly a period of institutional construction, witnessing the establishment of a series of systems and institutions for the implementation and supervision of human rights ranging from the United Nations to states and regions around the world. The third phase, which started in 1989 and continues today, has been characterized “by the expansion of human rights activism and human rights strategy”14, and takes on a multi-dimensional orientation. In this phase, human rights supervision is carried out in accordance with the United Nations Charter and a series of international conventions, including the review of individual national human rights reports and the exercise of individual complaint systems; and special tribunals were set up for the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone to investigate human rights violations and the permanent International Criminal Court started to operate. Also, in this phase, states or international organizations in the name of human rights take coercive intervention measures such as diplomatic, economic, sanctions, and military sanctions against states which violate human rights; and a series of non-coercive interventions were adopted in other states. For example, the human rights record of a state is used as a prerequisite for development assistance programs, and the human rights situations are linked with internationally sponsored financial adjustment measures.
 
Fundamentally, this international human rights practice profoundly reflects the changes in the relationship between human rights and national sovereignty in the international legal order established after World War II. On the one hand, the internal affairs of a state are not something in which other states or organizations can interfere, although the theory of natural rights has demonstrated the legitimacy of restricting state power from within after the concept of absolute national sovereignty was established by the Treaty of Westphalia. However, as a feature of international human rights today, “any violation of human rights within a state is a reason for intervention by actors outside the state, another state, and others in a way that was previouslyconsidered to be inappropriately interfering in the internal affairs of a state.”15 On the other hand, while encroaching on the previously generally accepted concept of absolute sovereignty; international human rights practice emphasizes the respect of human rights for the value of the life of each individual, which in an objective sense promotes the “development of the individual’s independent status in international law”16.
 
Therefore, from the perspective of international human rights practice, although “the rhetoric of human rights is full of empty hypocrisy, and is influenced by selfish cynicism and self-deception, all these problems cannot completely deny the value brought by the increasing acceptance of human rights in international relations.”17 This inevitably leads to ethical reflections on human rights themselves, and questions regarding how to further improve the protection and relief of human rights in the international field. Raz’s concept of human rights is a theoretical response to the requirements of international human rights practice.
 
B. The natural rights theory cannot provide an effective explanation for international human rights practice
 
In the changing international legal order, the concept of Raz’s human rights is also closely related to the fact that the long-time dominant natural rights theory cannot provide effective normative interpretations for international human rights practice. According to the concept of natural rights, human rights are universal moral rights of people as human beings. Although this assertion captures the basic instincts of human beings and upholds human dignity, as Raz sees it, the theory of natural rights has failed due to the following reasons. Firstly, many discussions on human rights by natural rights theorists pay little attention to human rights as a type of rights. It seems that they believe “the value of that putative right or the value of its object to the right holder” provides enough proof that the right does exist, ignoring the necessity of making others obligated to ensure that right for its holder.18 Secondly, although natural rights theorists argue that these human rights are the minimum people should enjoy as human beings, they are not able to determine the minimum threshold,19 making it difficult to avoid arbitrariness in terms of the quantity and scope of human rights.Finally, and most importantly, these human rights theories are derived from thinking that has nothing to do with international human rights practice and which fail to effectively explain the role of human rights in international practice. Although these theories criticize contemporary human rights practice because of the failure to complywith the ethical teachings of 20 traditional human rights theories, they do not provide evidence to prove “why should contemporary human rights practice be in line with those teachings?”21
 
Historically, the theory of natural rights was developed in a different historical context for a purpose from human rights in international practice. For example, within the framework of Thomas Hobbes, the language of natural rights is used to replace the Christian natural law and social concepts, and an alternative view of political authority is established on top of it, mainly to set restrictions on the exercise of the government’s monopoly over power.22 After the end of World War II, out of reflections on the atrocities committed by the great powers against civilians during the war, despite a revival of the theory of natural rights, international human rights practice has shown that the concept of natural rights does not reflect the unique connotations of human rights in the changing international law and order. On the surface, human rights in international practice seem to correspond to rights derived from human nature, but this does not mean that human rights are equivalent to natural rights. This is because “the theory of natural rights fails to prove why the rights all, and only in international practice, are regarded as having set restrictions on national sovereignty, and this is the most significant sign of human rights in human rights practice.”23 In a fundamental sense, since the theory of natural rights starts from human nature that has nothing to do with practice, its truth or fallacy has nothing to do with the general principles used to correctly evaluate human rights practice. This shows that those engaged in human rights practice can no longer use the theory of natural rights for normative argument and as a defense for human rights.24
 
II. The Basic Argument of Raz’s Concept of Human Rights
 
Human rights are a type of rights above all and have the basic attributes of rights. To clarify his concept of human rights, Raz started with an investigation of general rights, then “made an important practical application” of his concept of rights and “applied [the concept] to the new international political situation”25, and provided the basic argument from general rights to human rights.
 
Raz provided a definition of what rights are in his book The Morality of Freedom: “X has a right. If and only if X can have all the rights, with other things being equal, a certain aspect of X’s well-being (interests) is a sufficient reason to make others assume an obligation.”26 Combined with this concept, Raz replaced the “interest” on which the right was based with “value”, and further proposed the four truisms of the rights.27
 
(1) An individual owns rights to things that are valuable to him or her;
 
(2) Rights are something of value to the right holder;
 
(3) The rights of an individual restrict the freedom of others; and
 
(4) Right holders have a say in the enforcement of rights.
 
From these four truisms, it can be seen that if Raz analyzed earlier the concept of rights from the perspective of the elements of rights28, then he has analyzed the general features of rights in society, that is, what a right means to the right holder. The four truisms contain more than the basic elements of the concept of rights.
 
To be more specific, the first three truisms are based on an understanding of the concept of rights, reflecting the general nature of rights. First, the value of something is the reason for the right holder to have the right to the thing, but the fact that something is valuable to an individual does not necessarily give him or her the right to it. Only when the value of something owned is sufficient to impose an obligation on others does the person seem to have a right to it. Secondly, the value of the right to the right holder is the basis of the right, and it is this value that justifies the legitimacy to make others obligated to ensure the right or at least not prevent the right holder from enjoying the right. Finally, rights are guaranteed by putting obligations on others. “Only when such an obligation exists does that right exist. The right exists because it creates such an obligation”29.
 
The above three truisms need further explanation: Why do rights have value to the rights holders? And why do rights mean imposing obligations on others? The answer to these questions is that “Rights play a special role in our moral world: Rights apply to situations in which the value of something to an individual is the value that makes others obligated to respect the rights in certain ways or ensure access to the rights.” 30
 
The fourth truism clarifies that the right holders have special power over their rights. From the perspective of the role of rights in social life, this special power does not mean that the rights holders “stand to complain” about various violations of their rights. This is because, in terms of moral principles and common beliefs, other people also have the right to have their own opinions on whether anyone behaves ethically, and the right to exchange these opinions is itself a universal one. This special power lies in the fact that “although rights (as in the third truism) are protected by various obligations imposed on others, they can be waived or suspended by the right holder” and “it is precisely this power, not the qualification of alleging, that is at the core of special qualifications of the rights holders on issues concerning their rights”31. In otherwords, the rights holders have the right to demand to implement or not to implement the rights they have, which is the unique feature of this special power.
 
The above four truisms are shared by all types of rights, so too human rights. However, after all, human rights are different from general rights. The understanding of the particularity of human rights must be based on contemporary human rights practice. The first task of human rights theory is to “establish the essential feature that contemporary human rights practice belongs to human rights, and to recognize these rights as human rights”; and the second task is to “confirm the moral standard that any right is eligible for such recognition”32.
 
Specifically, the first task is to determine what features are attributed to rights in contemporary human rights practice and to make these rights human rights. Raz believes that in the international arena, “taking actions against a state which violates rights is what makes human rights unique.”33 When human rights are invoked in multiple contexts and for multiple purposes, “the mainstream trend in human rights practice is to use the fact that a right is a human right as a defeasibly sufficient basis for actions against its offenders in the international arena, that is, to regard its violation as a reason for such action”34. Therefore, “human rights are regarded, in any case, as the right to impose restrictions on national sovereignty.”35 The second task is to make sure that it is a human right if this right morally justifies measures that limit national sovereignty. In other words, “human rights are those that obtain moral justification for measures that restrict sovereignty.”36
 
In brief, Raz’s argument from rights to human rights is mainly carried out on three successive levels.37
 
(a) An individual interest establishes an individual moral right.
 
(b) The state should assume the obligation to respect or promote individual rights.
 
(c) For this obligation, the state does not enjoy immunity from outside interference.
 
Each of the above levels presupposes the previous level. If the above arguments are all successful, then a human right is established. If the human rights theory understands its tasks in this way, it’s also an expression of a political view of human rights. This is because it is understood based on the political function of human rights in international practice that restricts national sovereignty. In this sense, although human rights cannot be separated from basic moral considerations, since the essence of the existence of human rights lies in whether a right is sufficient to limit national sovereignty, human rights must “be contingent on the contemporary international relations system” and thus lack a foundation. 38
 
III. The Basic Meaning of Raz’s Concept of Human Rights
 
The three levels of the aforementioned argument of human rights indicate that if a right is to become a human right, it constitutes a sufficient reason for the international community to interfere if and only if the state fails to fulfill the obligations that the right entrusts to it. However, the above argument is brief after all, and each level of it needs to be elaborated, and it is necessary to further clarify that the concept of human rights contains the following three basic meanings, namely: (1) Synchronically universal rights;39 (2) The right to restrict national sovereignty; (3) Legal rights that should be enforced by legitimate and authoritative international institutions.
 
A. Human rights are synchronically universal rights
 
The universality of human rights is the basic proposition of the theory of natural rights, which believes that human rights “are the rights that all people have anytime and anywhere only based on their human nature”40. But, in Raz’s view, “this proposition is hardly tenable”41. Take the right to education as an example, “if people have the right to education as described in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights based on their human nature, then we can conclude that the cave dwellers of the Stone Age also had this right. Does this conclusion make sense?”42 According to the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the right to education, the distinctions between elementary education, technical education, vocational education, and higher education make no sense in the Stone Age and many other eras. Rights are linked with obligations. “At the time, who should enforce such obligations?”43
 
Since human rights are restricted by obligations, they cannot be established based only on human nature, and therefore they cannot be universal. This view has been accepted by some contemporary natural right theorists. John Tasioulas has claimed that “a fairly strict version interprets human rights as ‘natural rights’, or rights that can be meaningfully possessed in the state of nature. This interpretation guarantees the eternality of human rights — they can be attributed to people in all historical periods,but at the obvious price of excluding those demanded or presupposed non-universal rights of social practice and institutions, such as the rights of political participation and to a fair trial”; “now, for us, human rights are those rights that people who live in a socialized world limited by modernity have as human beings”44.
 
Of course, a denial of the eternality of human rights is not a denial of the universality of human rights. This is the common point of view between Raz and some natural rights theorists, although they have obvious differences in their understanding of universality. In the latter’s view, human rights are linked to the conditions of modernity, whether it is “temporally constrained universality” (Tassioulas)45 or “relative universality of human rights” (Donnelly)46. In contrast, Raz attributed human rights to the historical period of the changing global order since the end of World War II, or, “the modern era of the United Nations Charter, which also includes the most recent period or what I call the “emerging world order”, believing that “a more plausible proposition is that human rights are synchronically universal and that all people alive now have human rights.”47
 
According to the synchronic universality of human rights, various factors other than “being human” determine what human rights an individual has in an era. Human rights are the “rights all people living today have under the same living conditions”48. These common conditions are not just the conditions of modernity. They also refer to the continuously expanding and deepening global social structure. Take the right to education as an example. It is the right enjoyed by all those who live in a global social structure that does not exhibit much difference within it. The underlying argument is as follows. First, whether people can live a valuable and meaningful life depends on whether they possess the skills necessary for dealing with challenges in life and taking advantage of the opportunities available. Second, considering the need for formal school education in our modern life, and considering that the contemporary society is politically organized as the state, the right to education exists and people have that right to education only in places where the state is obligated to provide education.49 From the perspective of the human rights argument, all human rights are based on universal factors applicable to situations such as the right to education.
 
As universally synchronic rights, human rights “express the idea that the value of human life is unconditional; ... a key contribution of individual rights to the emerging world order is the emphasis on the commitment to the value of human life”50. Moreover, another key contribution of human rights is that since they are universal rights for everyone, each individual and every association composed of individuals can not only demand recognition of their rights but also have a say in the enforcement of their rights. This allows ordinary people, non-governmental organizations, and treaty-based institutions to exert pressure on the dominant forces in the contemporary international arena such as states, corporations, and to a lesser extent, international organizations in the name of rights. As a result, the human rights movement has opened a new channel for political activism and represented a major correction to theprevious practice of centralizing power in the hands of the state and corporations. 51
 
B. Human rights are the rights that limit national sovereignty
 
However, “there is no principled ground to regard human rights as only synchronically universal rights.” Out of some important practical reasons, that is,the global society, the rights that anyone can ask the state to respect are classified separately as human rights.52 On the one hand, human rights are not mainly universal moral rights applicable to private individuals, but “the rights that transcend private morality”53, and are a political concept that deals with the relationship between individuals and the state. On the other hand, since human rights are our rights we enjoy according to the common conditions of today’s life, those states which violate human rights or fail to prevent domestic human rights violations, after being denounced, cannot defending themselves that “the situation in our state is different. You don’t know what rights our state’s residents have, so you can’t interfere in our affairs in the name of those rights.” 54
 
In international practice, the nature of human rights is their restrictions on national sovereignty. “If individual rights disable the state’s argument against outside interference in their internal affairs, then they are human rights. They disable or deny the legitimacy of this response: I, the state, may make mistakes, but you as outsiders have no right to interfere. I’m under the protection of my sovereignty.”55 The state refuses to be held accountable in certain ways for its actions to outside actors or organizations, which is precisely how national sovereignty is traditionally conceived. However, although sovereignty can protect the state from external interference, it cannot justify the behavior of the state. When the state violates human rights, not only does this rhetoric lose its validity, but also “the state must account for their compliance with human rights to international tribunals with jurisdiction and non-state people and organizations responsible for actions.” 56
 
Raz’s idea that human rights have a political function of restricting national sovereignty is from the insights of John Rawls but has a fundamental difference. Rawls looked at human rights from the perspective of safeguarding international peace and justice. He considered human rights a special kind of urgent right in the society of all peoples, which are the right that “limits the justification of wars and acts of war and sets clear limits on the internal autonomy of a political system.”57 In contrast, Raz started from the practice of international human rights, “taking human rights as a legitimate reason for taking any international actions against the offenders if the rights are violated. Considering that this violates national sovereignty, these actions are usually not allowed.”58. In his view, in addition to the coercive interventions such as diplomatic sanctions, economic sanctions, and military actions mentioned by Rawls, human rights practice today that restricts national sovereignty also includes making the observance of human rights a condition of assistance, calling on states to report their records of human rights protection, formally condemning rights violations, punishing infringements, refusal to provide landing or overflight rights, trade boycotts, and other behaviors.59
 
Moreover, Raz also rejects Rawls’s interpretation of human rights as a standard to measure the legitimacy of a political system. By clarifying the limits of national sovereignty and legitimate authority, he clarifies the limits of human rights restricting national sovereignty. “Sovereignty limits the right of others to interfere in the internal affairs of a state”, and “the standard for determining the limits of legitimate authority depends on the morality of the authority’s behavior”, but “not all actions that exceed the legitimate authority of the state constitute a reason for interference by other states; in any case, not every moral fault of an individual justifies the prevention or punishment by others.”60 Therefore, it is necessary to distinguish between the limits of national sovereignty and legitimate authority, so that the state can get rid of too tight external supervision and be free to pursue the practice of their own rights. In other words, the general principles of justice that govern any society should not be allowed to govern international relations. Instead, on that basis, the degree of changes in justice standards and the variability of the content and scope of rights among different political societies must be established.61
 
In addition, Raz further analyzed the normative limits of external societies when restricting national sovereignty in the name of human rights. “At any time, the moral limits of national sovereignty are decided not only by the moral limits of national authority but also by the moral sufficiency of interference by others.”62 In the international situation, “they depend on who is in the position of asserting sovereignty limits, and as a result, how they might act”63. If the international community clearly cannot use fair means in human rights intervention, making such intervention itself a means to strengthen a superpower’s dominance over its competitors or vassal states, then the moral principle of restricting sovereignty is sovereignty protection.
 
C. Human rights are legal rights that should be enforced by legitimate and authoritative international institutions
 
In modern times, since human rights are a type of rights to limit national sovereignty, they are always an individual right discussed and pursued on the international stage. It is not only our universal moral rights but also legal rights —when “incorporated into treaties or international organization charters, these moral rights become human rights”64. Although the respect for moral rights should be a matter of personal conscience and falls under the category of voluntary interaction between individuals that involves freedom from coercive or institutional interference, human rights are not such moral rights. “Among all our moral rights, only those that should be legally respected and enforced are regarded as human rights.”65
 
Moreover, “the implementation of human rights, like that of other laws and regulations, needs to be institutionalized”66, and ultimately leads to international institutions that protect human rights. Although the rights holders have the right to demand their rights be implemented or not be implemented according to the fourth truism, it presupposes the existence of a fair and effective enforcement organization. The flaw of the theory of natural rights is that it not only ignores the necessity of making others obligated to ensure that rights holders enjoy their rights, but also does not realize the difficulties associated with establishing a human right in terms of processes, contents, and authoritative institutions.67
 
For the argument of human rights, the term “authoritative institutions” has three meanings. First, if there is a human right for something, then it is an obligation to establish and support fair, efficient, and trustworthy institutions in the international arena to supervise the implementation of that human right and prevent it from being violated. Second, generally speaking, people should not attempt any coercive measures to enforce this human right before such institutions exist. We should follow this warning, considering the common and serious harm caused using coercion in international settings, and considering the claim that enforcement is nothing more than misguided self-righteousness. Third, a right is not a human right if there can be no fair, efficient and trustworthy organization for it, considering various dominant situations.68
 
Of the above-mentioned three meanings, the first one, which aims at the implementation of human rights on a global scale, is intended to encourage and support institutional attempts such as the International Criminal Court; the second one is to “arouse the awareness of the importance of having the right institutions for people” and “when the efforts to enforce rights may lead to injustice, arouse people’s willingness to question the enforcement of these rights”69; and the third one, “it is important to remember: My conclusion is not that no such rights exist. It is that this right is not a human right. In the practice of contemporary human rights, only those rights that should be enforced by law are regarded as human rights. Accordingly, we can believe that although there may be human rights that fail to be legally enforced,there cannot be human rights that cannot be legally enforced. If it cannot be enforced fairly, effectively, and reliably, then we should not recognize this right as a human right, or demand its enforcement”70.
 
In a basic sense, to establish a human right, the major challenge in the process is the need for an international organization with proper authority to “resolve disputes about the scope of rights and force people to respect rights”71. In terms of content, the challenge is “related to people’s suspicion that human rights claims, or some of them, are culturally biased, believing that they represent an ideological demand that Western ideas should prevail in the world. To some extent, this challenge is not particularly relevant to the establishment of a corresponding obligation for a hypothetical right. But in practice, this is where the challenge lies”72. Taking the right to health stipulated in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) as an example. Although all the difficulties of cultural diversity are entailed in the understanding of it, the challenge lies in “how to make this right have practical meaning, recognizing its universality while acknowledging its sensitivity to cultural differences”73. In the final analysis, it requires proper and authoritative institutions not only to fairly judge the health policies of states but also to judge other rights and values they pursue and how states balance health and other values.
 
IV. Questions and Criticisms of Raz’s Concept of Human Rights
 
Raz applied his concept of rights to the international arena from the perspective of the function of human rights restricting national sovereignty. Although Raz criticized the concept of natural rights, natural rights theorists believe that it can be regarded as a “parasite in traditional human rights”74 and his human rights theory can also be “easily interpreted as a refinement of traditional ideas”75 since Raz’s concept of human rights presupposes a wide range of universal moral rights that people emphasize. From the point of view of the steps of Raz’s argument of human rights, the difference between it and the view of natural rights is that the concept of natural rights begins and ends in Step A, and Raz’s also includes Steps B and C.76 A typical question natural rights theorists raise about Raz’s concept of human rights is: “Raz failed to notice that it would be better for his interpretation of general rights to be treated as a narrower type of rights, or human rights, a theory that gives a special importance to human rights and renders further political explanations of the uniqueness of human rights unnecessary.”77 However, the questions of human rights theorists are not limited to the uniqueness of Raz’s concept of human rights but cover all three aspects of the concept as well.
 
A. Opposition to the synchronic universality of human rights
 
Regarding Raz’s denial of the eternality of human rights, natural rights theorists mainly argue from the perspective of the distinction between abstract rights and specific rights (or basic rights and source rights): “Human rights can be conceived at different levels of abstraction. On the one hand, we can conceive a series of specific rights and confirm the demands of people in today’s world from their own governments and country fellows, as well as from international organizations, foreign governments, and their citizens. To a large extent, the rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are applied at this level. On the other hand, we can conceive a series of abstract rights that all people enjoy for vital interests... Once we have a strong portrayal of these basic interests and the abstract rights that protect them, we can clearly express specific rights in social and political contexts. In a certain historical context, these specific rights confirm the fundamental interests that are worth protecting”78.
 
Regarding this approach, Raz has pointed out long ago that “some theorists will insist that although the right to education recognized by international law today is not a universal human right, it is derived from a truly universal up-right. But I cannot find this right. I also believe that the search for this right is also misguided.79 However, natural rights theorists responded by asking how could those who use this distinction see this as a problem?”80
 
Taking the distinction between abstract rights and specific rights as a clue, S. Matthew Liao and Adam Etinson followed Raz’s approach to the theory of interests, trying to further argue for the eternality of human rights and against the synchronic universality of human rights based on distinguishing between the aim and the object of rights. They believe that the aim of a human right is the goal of that human right, and the object of a human right is the way to achieve that goal, pointing out: “The aim of human rights is eternal, while the object of human rights can change depending on time, place, and society. If we are clear that we are referring to the aim of human rights when saying that human rights are eternal”, we should be able to solve the problem.81 Take the human right to free basic education as an example. Indeed, it seems strange to claim that cave dwellers have this human right, but this still means the possibility that the right to free basic education originates from eternally applicable basic rights. Basic rights refer to the rights of an individual to act appropriately in an environment to acquire the necessary knowledge. Although cave dwellers did not have the right to free basic education, it is not surprising to believe that the aim of this right would have a normative power in their environment and that it would produce different but similar objects of rights, such as the right to education on how to hunt and gather, if such education was available to them. In any case, the distinction between the aim andobject of rights lies in the fact that Raz’s criticism does not seem to have much power. Based on this distinction, human rights are justified in the way that Raz believes they should be established, that is, by showing the value of possessing them. In fact, the right to free basic education is precisely established by the value of the necessary knowledge people have if they are to become individuals who act appropriately in their environment.
 
Moreover, Liao and Etinson believe that, firstly, “at least, some of the rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are indeed eternal, such as the human right of freedom from torture. There are good reasons to believe that cave dwellers also have this human right.”82 Secondly, there are still tribes in the world today that have not had any contact with the outside world for hundreds of years. Should we conclude that the members of these tribes do not have human rights? Of course, they do. If Raz believes that human rights are not eternal because many of the most noncontroversial human rights, such as the right to education, all depend on systems and make use of distinctions that are inapplicable to the Stone Age, then these systems and distinctions cannot be applied today to those tribes that have no contact with the outside world. Based on his own reasoning, Raz would have to admit that the members of these tribes do not enjoy the human right to basic education, and therefore must give up the claim that “human rights are synchronically universal.”83
 
B. Questions about human rights as the right that limits national sovereignty
 
Based on the basic political function of human rights in international practice, Raz concluded that human rights are the rights that limit national sovereignty. However, when Raz started from practice, the argument of the concept of human rights was first criticized by Jeremy Waldron, who believed that the existence of a human right cannot be proved merely based on the reaction of the international community when a right is violated by the state. From the perspective of international practice, first, the justification basis for humanitarian or other external interventions may not be rights at all, but instead more related to the geopolitical factors that lead to unrest after the large-scale violations of people’s rights. Second, for a right to become a human right, it must be important enough to cover the conventional cost that we believe is associated with an offense to national sovereignty. However, in the real world, it is difficult for us to distinguish the thresholds for setting human rights from other actual political, economic, and diplomatic factors. Finally, humanitarian intervention is usually a response to large-scale violations of rights instead of individual violations of specific rights. The fact that a set of rights are being violated does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that the rights themselves are human rights only enjoyed by individuals. In addition, even if a state publicly accuses another state of infringing on individual rights, regardless of whether it constitutes an infringement of the sovereignty of that state, a good human rights theory should obviously regard it as marginal, although it is at the center of Raz’s human rights theory.84
 
Moreover, from the perspective of natural rights theorists, Raz’s understanding of human rights from the function that restricts national sovereignty constitutes a problem. First, universal moral rights such as the right not to be betrayed or the right not to be pinched will be excluded. “The first right is excluded because the betrayal between individuals is not within the legitimate authority of the state; and the second right is excluded because even if ‘pinching’ violates universal moral rights, it is not important enough to justify international intervention.”85 Second, Raz’s concept of human rights is obviously narrower than that of natural rights, because those human rights that can properly limit national sovereignty or defend international responses are only a subset of human rights, not human rights themselves.86 Third, “considering the countless functions performed by human rights discourse in daily life, what strong basis is there for conceptualizing human rights as a trigger for some kind of international response? ”87
 
Additionally, when Raz understands human rights with the sovereign states at the center, it will inevitably cause two negative consequences. On the one hand, it makes human rights face the problem of stability. Human rights are so dependent on “the contingency of the contemporary international relations system” that changes in geopolitical conditions will inevitably have an unacceptable impact on human rights. For example, if most states suddenly acquire nuclear weapons, the risk of nuclear war may justify the degree of these states’ resistance against external intervention, and accordingly lead to a reduction in the number of human rights norms or their weakening. “Allowing human rights to be at the mercy of changes in geopolitical conditions to such an extent seems to conflict with the continuous importance deliberately assigned to human rights.”88 Moreover, what if the world order no longer consists of states in the future? Would we say that human rights no longer exist? Linking the human rights discourse with the current international system makes human rights undesirably depend on the way the current world happens to be organized.89
 
On the other hand, it makes human rights face the issue of the human rights obligations of non-state entities. A distinctive feature of Raz’s concept of human rights is “obvious silence about the obligations of non-state actors, ranging from individuals to multinationals or international financial institutions such as the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund or World Bank”90. If the statehas the primary responsibility to protect its citizens and the aim of the international community with the secondary responsibility is to make the state responsible for its actions toward its citizens, then it seems that non-state actors have no responsibility. However, it has become increasingly clear that decisions made by the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, or the World Bank on global economic regulation have a profound impact on the protection of human rights worldwide. It should be figured out how the international community holds states responsible for the consequences of global regulations which those states do not decide, without holding the non-state actors responsible whose decisions and actions hinder the protection of human rights.91
 
Finally, the more basic misgiving may be that if Raz narrows human rights to the international arena, it will lead to a mismatch between domestic constitutional rights and human rights. “According to Raz, the human rights theory aims to establish the essential features of rights recognized as human rights in human rights practice. But human rights practice does not recognize this gap between human rights and constitutional rights. There is usually a continuity between human rights and constitutional rights. International human rights documents and domestic rights documents are usually regarded as complementary empiricalization of the same basic rights concepts. The purpose of empiricalizing fundamental rights into constitutional rights is to provide ordinary individuals with certain guarantees within their society, while the purpose of empiricalizing the same rights in the International Bill of Human Rights is to lead and guide each state to provide internal guarantees and remedies. ”92
 
As a result, Raz missed “the central function of human rights that internally restrict state power.” “Obviously, this function is both systematic and historically significant and it must be so in any proper interpretation of human rights.”93 These rights limit national sovereignty at the international level because they inherently limit national power. Therefore, “within the scope of international law or political practice that justifies the politics of legitimate intervention, it is generally misleading to emphasize the political-legal function of these rights because it gets the order wrong. We first need to construct or find a group of justifiable human rights that legitimate political authorities must respect and protect. Then we’ll ask what legal structure needs to be established at the international level to monitor political authorities and help ensure that they respect and protect human rights… The first issue of human rights is not how to restrict sovereignty from the outside, but the fundamental condition for establishing the legitimacy of political authority. International law and intervention politics must follow the special logic of human rights, not the other way around. ”94
 
C. Refutation of human rights as a legal right that should be enforced by a legitimate and authoritative international organization
 
Raz regards human rights not only as a right that restricts national sovereignty but also as a legal right that should be enforced by a legitimate and authoritative international organization. However, when Raz claimed that “human rights are legal rights that should be enforced by legitimate and authoritative international institutions”, the argument for human rights as a legal right received criticism. “Under the order, he stated that he is only concerned with those legal rights that recognize pre-existing moral rights and include human rights as such rights. He added that this is about how correctly looking at legal human rights. However, he did not provide a normative argument for that choice... which is regrettable... Raz cannot simply posture, saying that human rights correspond to independent universal rights that should be legalized, without explaining how this legalized relationship works.”95 Raz has not clarified how human rights are legal rights at the same time.
 
Moreover, when Raz regards human rights as legal rights that should be enforced, “it is obvious that for him, the enforcement of the law implies the formulation of the law, but one may question the additional requirements of enforcement once a human right is legally formulated.”96 This is because, conceptually, it will be self-defeating to make the existence of human rights laws dependent on their implementation. On the one hand, legal rights are not necessarily enforceable. “The legislation of human rights is not enough to give legal authority for the enforcement of human rights, let alone the actual power to do so. For example, a legal right can exist without any associated remedies — the right can be declarative... Whether a right exists legally is fundamentally different from whether it can be judicially remedied or legally enforced. ”97
 
On the other hand, Raz presupposed a corresponding relationship between human rights and specific obligations. However, “in a given environment, human rights logically exist before corresponding obligations become specific. This is the result of Raz’s interest-based rights theory.”98 Furthermore, “Raz’s mistake” is to “equate the right with the specific obligations contained in that right.”99 “Raz once wrote consistently that rights are strong enough to impose obligations on the legitimate interests of others so that they should not be equated with these obligations;” the role of legal rights in practical reasoning is to demonstrate the intermediate conclusion between the interests of the right holder and the obligations of another individual so that the possession of a right by an individual means that one of his interests is a sufficient basis for subjecting another person to an obligation. Although rights are sufficient reasons to impose an obligation, they are neither conclusive nor satisfy these reasons.”100
 
What’s more of a problem is that Raz not only regards human rights as legal rights that should be enforced but also appeals to a fair and reliable international enforcement agency. First, from a practical point of view, human rights are usually enforced by law only within sovereign states, and there is no such thing as an authority responsible for implementing human rights on a global scale. Raz “neglected the unique auxiliary functions of international institutions and the main role of domestic legal institutions in the interpretation and implementation of human rights,” and ignored the division of responsibility between domestic and supranational institutions in human rights affairs.101 Second, when Raz regards a legitimate and authoritative international institution as an essential condition for the existence of human rights, he also confuses the claims about the effectiveness of human rights with the abuse of human rights in the implementation of the rights. Indeed, “in practice, concerns about abuse of intervention occur — whether it is concerned with bullying the weak, being self-interested, or producing simply reactions. These issues should be dealt with separately.”102 This is because, in the sequence of justifications, human rights are rights that allow interference in principle when being violated and that preexist the prevention of abuse of interference. Although effectiveness is involved in deciding what counts as a human right, it is wise and useful to distinguish between the effectiveness of the claim and the prevention of abuse or misguided intervention.103
 
In a fundamental sense, Raz cannot avoid a question by natural rights theorists: Why should human rights be legal rights. The law is only a means to show or realize human rights. “We often assume that if a non-legalized human right is important, it is better to make it a well-defined legal right. However, this is most likely a mistake. Changes can be effected in other ways, including media reports and criticism, as well as public debate and mobilization. Because communication, advocacy, reporting,and well-informed public discussion are important, human rights can have an impact without being dependent on mandatory legislation.”104 In terms of the nature of human rights, “a denial of human rights as legal rights does not mean the denial of the existence of legal human rights. Real human rights, which are extremely important,have been institutionalized in international law. Such rights are extremely important. Moreover, the idea of human rights is not a legal concept of rights.”105
 
V. Conclusion: The Uniqueness of Function-based Human Rights
 
To take human rights seriously, we must take their particularity seriously. Raz’s concept of human rights is centered on the particularity of human rights. For him, this particularity does not lie in human nature, as the natural rights theorists believe, but in the functionality that restricts national sovereignty. In the context of the changing international legal order, it is necessary to take the perspective of historical changes and further clarify the significance of human rights in a globalized world, although such a concept of human rights, which starts from international human rights practice, emphasizes respect for the value of human life on a global scale and points out the inherent need for an international legal protection mechanism for human rights.
 
Historically, originating from the long tradition of natural law in the West, the concept of natural rights is justified based on the uniqueness of human beings. From the very beginning, its basic political function has been to contribute to the establishment of modern nation-states, aiming to protect the basic rights of every citizen who lives in the national community, whether it is the Declaration of Independence of the United States in 1776 or the Declaration of Human Rights and Citizenship of France in 1789.106 In contrast, until the end of World War II, after painful reflections on the two world wars and the atrocities of the Nazis, especially the Holocaust, “human rights” were stipulated in the United Nations Charter107 promulgated in 1945 for the first time as a consensus of the international community, declared “as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations,”108 and are built into the global political-legal structure through a series of international human rights conventions and their institutional arrangements, demonstrating respect for the dignity of everyone living in a globalized world.
 
Objectively speaking, the natural rights theory that grew out of the West’s natural law tradition has failed to provide an effective defense for the international human rights practice after the end of World War II. This is because, when looking at the legitimacy of human rights or human rights from the perspective of the traditional Western natural law argument, human rights are bound to be rejected by other cultures in the world as something unique to traditional culture and therefore prejudiced109. This is also because human rights, as an international consensus based on human dignity in a globalized world, are “not embodied in the state of nature or general social principles abstracted out of time and space, but used globally as principles of global public political life in the modern world”110.
 
It is precisely out of dissatisfaction with the theory of natural rights that Raz attempts to provide a universal and functional understanding of human rights in the era of globalization by approaching international human rights practice. However, Raz’s argument of human rights fails to clear the doubts and criticisms by scholars represented by natural rights theorists. On the one hand, Raz directly understood human rights as legal rights that should be enforced by a fair and reliable international organization, which may not only violate the rationality principle used to argue for rights, but also as being too arbitrary and he lacks a sufficient argument why human rights are legal rights. On the other hand, Raz understood the uniqueness of human rights as the function that restricts national sovereignty, which is precisely the main disagreement with natural rights theorists. This disagreement not only reflects the fact that the Western academic circles are far from reaching a basic consensus on the understanding of human rights in international human rights practice but also shows the theoretical need for the international community to figure out how to reach a consensus on international human rights practice in the historical context of the changing international legal order.
 
(Translated by JIANG Yu)
 
* YAN Hailiang ( 严海良 ), Professor of the Law School of Nanjing Normal University. Researcher of China Institute of Modernization of the Rule of Law, Nanjing Normal University. This article is a phased result project of the China Society for Human Rights Studies (CSHRS)’s Studies on Political Human Rights Theory in the Contemporary West (Project No. CSHRS2020-03ZD), National Social Science Fund of China’s Research on the Judicial Interpretation of Human Rights in Contemporary China (Project No.: 16BFX023).
 
1. Jürgen Habermas, “The Concept of Human Dignity and the Realistic Utopia of Human Rights”, trans. Bao Yongling, Philosophical Analysis 3 (2010): 1.
 
2. Thomas Buergenthal, “The Normative and Institutional Evolution of International Human Rights”, Human Rights Quarterly 19, no. 4 (1997): 703-723.
 
3. Charles Beitz, “Human Rights as a Common Concern”, American Political Science Review 95, no. 2 (2001): 269-282.
 
4. Zeng Lingliang, “The Humanistic Development Trend of Modern International Law”, Chinese Social Sciences 1 (2007): 89-90.
 
5. Raz’s papers in this area include: (1) Joseph Raz, “Human Rights without Foundations”, in The Philosophy of International Law, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010). The Chinese translation before the official publication of the article can be seen in: Joseph Raz, “Human Rights without Foundations”, trans. Yue Lin, Peking University Law Journal 3 (2010); (2) Joseph Raz, “Human Rights in the Emerging World Order”, Transnational Legal Theory 1. The Chinese translation before the official publication of the article can be seen in: Joseph Raz, “Human Rights in the Emerging World Order”, trans. Yang Bei, in Global Harmony and the Rule of Law (Beijing: China Legal Publishing House, 2010); Joseph Raz, “Individual Rights in the New World Order”, trans. Deng Zhenglai, Chinese Social Science Journal 30 (2010); (3) Joseph Raz, “On Waldron’s Critique of Raz on Human Rights”, in Human Rights: Moral or Political, (New York: Oxford University
Press, 2018). It needs to be stated that the research of this article is based on Raz’s original English text since the Chinese texts are not translated based on the final versions and therefore contain a great deal of omissions.
 
6. Regarding this dispute, Gerhard Ernst and Jan-Christoph Heilinger eds, The Philosophy of Human Right: Contemporary Controversies (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter GmbH and Co. KG, 2012); Adam Etinson eds, Human Rights: Moral or Political (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018).
 
7. Violetta Igneski, “A Sufficiently Political Orthodox Conception of Human Rights”, Journal of Global Ethics 10, no. 2 (2014): 167.
8. Joseph Raz, “Human Rights Without Foundation”, in The Philosophy of International Law (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 334.
 
9. Yan Hailiang, “Towards a Functional Theory of Human Rights Based on Human Dignity: Evolution and Analysis of Contemporary Human Rights Views”, Global Law Review 4 (2015): 83-108.
 
10. Article 1, Paragraph 3 of the Charter of the United Nations.
 
11. John Tasioulas, “The Moral Reality of Human Rights”, in Freedom from Poverty as a Human Right and Who Owes What to the Very Poor? (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), 75.
 
12. Joseph Raz, “On Waldron’s Critique of Raz on Human Rights”, in Human Rights: Moral or Political (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018), 141-142.
 
13. Thomas Buergenthal, “The Normative and Institutional Evolution of International Human Rights”, Human Rights Quarterly 19, no. 4 (1997): 703-723.
 
14. Lisa Hajjar, “Human Rights”, trans. Gao Hongjun, in The Blackwell Companion to Law and Society, ed. Austin Sarat, trans. Gao Hongjun et al. (Beijing: Peking University Press, 2011), 650.
 
15. Joseph Raz, “On Waldron’s Critique of Raz on Human Rights”, in Human Rights: Moral or Political (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018), 144.
 
16. Joseph Raz, “On Waldron’s Critique of Raz on Human Rights”, in Human Rights: Moral or Political (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018), 144.
 
17. Raz, “Human Rights Without Foundation”, 322.
 
18. Joseph Raz, “Human Rights in the Emerging ‘World Order’”, Transnational Legal Theory 1 (2010): 37 and 44.
 
19. Raz, “Human Rights Without Foundation”, 326-327.
 
20. James Griffin, On Human Rights, trans. Xu Xiangdong and Liu Ming (Nanjing: Yilin Publishing House, 2015), 227-252.
 
21. Raz, “Human Rights Without Foundation”, 327-328.
 
22. Andrea Sangiovanni, “Justice and the Priority of Politics to Morality”, 16 The Journal of Political Philosophy 2 (2008): 153.
 
23. Joseph Raz, “Human Rights Without Foundation”, in The Philosophy of International Law (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 34.
 
24. Joseph Raz, “On Waldron’s Critique of Raz on Human Rights”, 143.
 
25. Pavlos Eleftheriadis, “Human Rights as Legal Rights”, 1 Transnational Legal Theory 3 (2010): 371-372.
 
26. Joseph Raz, The Morality of Freedom (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), 167.
 
27. Joseph Raz, “Human Rights in the Emerging ‘World Order’”, 35-39.
 
28. Yan Hailiang, “Benefits-based approach to rights, Raz’s concept analysis of rights”, Law and Social Development 5 (2010): 137-148.
 
29. Joseph Raz, “Human Rights in the Emerging ‘World Order’”, 34-36.
 
30. Joseph Raz, “Human Rights in the Emerging ‘World Order’”, 37.
 
31. Joseph Raz, “Human Rights in the Emerging ‘World Order’”, 39.
 
32. Raz, “Human Rights Without Foundation”, 327.
 
33. Raz, “Human Rights Without Foundation”, 329.
 
34. Raz, “Human Rights Without Foundation”, 328.
 
35. Raz, “Human Rights Without Foundation”, 332.
 
36. Raz, “Human Rights Without Foundation”, 329.
 
37. Raz, “Human Rights Without Foundation”, 336.
 
38. Raz, “Human Rights Without Foundation”, 336.
 
39. Joseph Raz, “Human Rights in the Emerging ‘World Order’”, 1 Transnational Legal Theory 1 (2010): 42. It should be noted that the Chinese translation of the English word “universal” in this article is additionally understood to mean “eternal”. The word can be translated as pu shi xing or pu bian xing. The former translation in Chinese also means “eternal”.
 
40. A. John Simmons, “Human Rights and World Citizenship”, in Justification and Legitimacy and Essays on Rights and Obligations (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 185.
 
41. Joseph Raz, “Human Rights in the Emerging ‘World Order’”, 39.
 
42. Joseph Raz, “Human Rights in the Emerging ‘World Order’”, 40.
 
43. Ibid.
 
44. John Tasioulas, “The Moral Reality of Human Rights”, in Freedom from Poverty as a Human Right and Who Owes What to the Very Poor? (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), 76-77.
 
45. John Tasioulas, “The Moral Reality of Human Rights”, 76.
 
46. Jack Donnelly, “The Relative Universality of Human Rights”, trans. Xu Shuang, in Human Rights Studies 9 (Jinan: Shandong People’s Publishing House, 2010), 310-325.
 
47. Joseph Raz, “Human Rights in the Emerging ‘World Order’”, 39 and 41.
 
48. Ibid., 42 and 43.
 
49. Ibid., 40.
 
50. Ibid., 41.
 
51. Ibid.
 
52. Ibid., 42.
 
53. Raz, “Human Rights Without Foundation”, 335.
 
54. Joseph Raz, “Human Rights in the Emerging ‘World Order’”, 42-43.
 
55. Raz, “Human Rights Without Foundation”, 332.
 
56. Joseph Raz, “Human Rights in the Emerging ‘World Order’”, 42.
 
57. John Rawls, The Law of Peoples, trans. Li Guowei, et al. (Taipei: Linking Publishing Co., Ltd., 2005), 110-112.
 
58. Raz, “Human Rights Without Foundation”, 328.
 
59. Joseph Raz. “Human Rights Without Foundations” (March 2007), Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper, No. 14/2007, accessed March 28, 2021. http: //ssm.com/abstact-999874.
 
60. Raz, “Human Rights Without Foundation”, 330.
 
61. Ibid., 331.
 
62. Ibid.
 
63. Ibid., 330.
 
64. Joseph Raz, “Human Rights in the Emerging ‘World Order’”, 9.
 
65. Ibid., 44.
 
66. Ibid., 39.
 
67. Ibid., 43.
 
68. Ibid., 43-44.
 
69. Ibid., 44.
 
70. Ibid.
 
71. Ibid.
 
72. Ibid.
 
73. Ibid., 46.
 
74. John Tasioulas, “Are Human Rights Essentially Triggers for Intervention?”, 4 Philosophy Compass 6 (2009): 948.
 
75. John Tasioulas, “On the Nature of Human Rights”, in The Philosophy of Human Rights: Contemporary Controversies (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, 2012), 55.
 
76. John Tasioulas, “Are Human Rights Essentially Triggers for Intervention?”, 45.
 
77. Rowan Cruft, “Human Rights as Rights”, in The Philosophy of Human Rights: Contemporary Controversies (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, 2012), 130.
 
78. Pablo Gilbert, “Humanist and Political Perspectives on Human Rights”, 39 Political Theory 4 (2011): 443.
 
79. Joseph Raz, “Human Rights in the Emerging ‘World Order’”, 40.
 
80. S. Matthew Liao and Adam Etinson, “Political and Naturalistic Conceptions of Human Rights: A False Polemic?”, 9 Journal of Moral Philosophy 3 (2012): 341.
 
81. S. Matthew Liao and Adam Etinson, “Political and Naturalistic Conceptions of Human Rights: A False Polemic?”, 339.
 
82. Ibid., 337.
 
83. Ibid., 337-338.
 
84. Jeremy Waldron, “Human Rights: A Critique of the Raz/Rawls Approach”, in Human Rights: Moral or Political, ed. Adam Etinson (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018), 135.
 
85. John Tasioulas, “On the Nature of Human Rights”, 53.
 
86. Ibid., 54.
 
87. Ibid., 54-55.
 
88. John Tasioulas, “Are Human Rights Essentially Triggers for Intervention?”, 946.
 
89. Laura Valentini, “In What Sense Are Human Rights Political? A Preliminary Exploration”, 60 Political Studies 1 (2012): 183.
 
90. Cristina Lafont, “Accountability and Global Governance: Challenging the State-centric Conception of Human Rights”, 3 Ethics & Global Politics 3 (2010): 199.
 
91. Cristina Lafont, “Accountability and Global Governance: Challenging the State-centric Conception of Human Rights”, 199.
 
92. Jeremy Waldron, “Human Rights: A Critique of the Raz/Rawls Approach”, 131.
 
93. Erasmus Mayer, “The Political and Moral Conception of Human Rights: A Mixed Account”, in The Philosophy of Human Rights: Contemporary Controversies (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, 2012), 90-91.
 
94. Rainer Forst, “The Justification of Human Rights and the Basic Right to Justification: A Reflexive Approach”, 120 Ethics 4 (2010): 726.
 
95. Samantha Besson, “Human Rights: Ethical, Political...or Legal? First Steps in a Legal Theory of Human Rights”, in The Role of Ethics in International Law (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 226.
 
96. Samantha Besson, “Human Rights: Ethical, Political...or Legal? First Steps in a Legal Theory of Human Rights”, 224.
 
97. John Tasioulas, “The Moral Reality of Human Rights”, 6.
 
98. Samantha Besson, “Human Rights: Ethical, Political...or Legal? First Steps in a Legal Theory of Human Rights”, 225.
 
99. Pavlos Eleftheriadis, “Human Rights as Legal Rights”, 375.
 
100. Ibid., 77.
 
101. Alain Zysset, “A Practical Critique of Raz, s Practical Concept of Human Rights,” accessed March 28, 2021. http: //www. cevipof. com/rtefiles/File/Graduate’20Conference/Zysset (‘ 20Alain. pdf.
 
102. John Skorupski, “Human Rights”, in The Philosophy of International Law, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 372.
 
103. Ibid., 72.
 
104. Amartya Sen, The Idea of Justice, trans. Wang Lei, et al. (Beijing: Renmin University of China Press, 2013), 339.
 
105. Christian Barry and Nicholas Southwood, “What is Special about Human Rights”, 25 Ethics & International Affairs 3 (2011): 382.
 
106. Samuel Moyn, The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History, trans. Wang Shaoqing and Tao Lixing (Beijing: The Commercial Press, 2016), 25.
 
107. Zhang Yonghe, “Comprehensively and Correctly Understanding the Concept of Human Rights, Human Rights Discourse, and Discourse System”, Red Flag Manuscript 14 (2017): 7-8.
 
108. Preface to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
 
109. John Rawls, The Law of Peoples, trans. Li Guowei, et al. (Taipei: Linking Publishing Co., Ltd., 2005), 95-96.
 
110. Charles R. Beitz, “From Practice to Theory”, 20 Constellations 1 (2013): 29.
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