International Relations is a vibrant field of significant growth and change. This book guides students through the complexities of over 40 central concepts and core theories, relating them at all times to contemporary issues and debates.

Each concept is divided into five sections to allow rapid familiarization with the topic and provide signposts for further exploration:

Core questions to address; Definition; Theoretical perspectives; Empirical problems; Core reading and useful websites

In addition the major theories are covered by six-part entries that give a 360 degree view of the strengths, weaknesses, applications and methodologies of each one:

An introduction to the core questions; Overview and background; Methodologies; Empirical application; Central criticism; Core reading and useful websites

Clear and highly readable, Key Concepts in International Relations is an essential guide for students on politics and international relations courses.

Human Rights

Human rights

1. Core Questions Addressed

  • What are the rights owned by any individual human being?
  • How are these rights guaranteed?
  • What role do human rights play in international relations?

2. Definitions

A traditional liberal definition sees human rights as rights that apply to all human beings independent of their nationality, ethnicity, religion or other individual characteristics. They therefore are presumed to have universal applicability, although, as we will see below, this universality is also often challenged. There are several subcategories of rights, and there have been many theoretical and political disputes over which rights to include in the list of universally valid human rights.

One distinction differentiates between negative and positive rights. Negative rights protect the individual against infringements of their rights, especially by political authorities. Article 4 of ...

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