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International Human Rights, Social Policy & GlobalCritical Perspectives$
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Gerard McCann and Féilim Ó hAdhmaill

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447349211

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447349211.001.0001

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Conclusion Human rights in a brave new world: the shape of things to come?

Conclusion Human rights in a brave new world: the shape of things to come?

(p.263) 20 Conclusion Human rights in a brave new world: the shape of things to come?
International Human Rights, Social Policy & Global

Fred Powell

Policy Press

This chapter explores the political context of human rights and how it is shaping the future. It argues that human rights constitute the very substance of democracy by conferring a universal set of rights on the citizen, arguing that Hannah Arendt’s famous phrase ‘the right to have rights’ defines the complex relationship between democracy, human rights and civil society. It discusses how human rights embracing both individual liberty and social justice have been historically contested and critically assesses the state of human rights in today’s world along with the potential threats and opportunities for human rights development into the future. The chapter concludes by arguing that the restoration of a universal welfare state, as the embodiment of human rights in a globalised world, arguably should be the priority for the future of democracy in the twenty-first century.

Keywords:   Arendt, human rights, democracy, citizenship, participatory

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