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Debating Human Rights

Daniel P.L. Chong
Debating Human Rights
ISBN: 978-1-62637-046-3
ISBN: 978-1-62637-047-0
ISBN: 978-1-62637-428-7
2014/277 pages/LC: 2013043448
Also of interest:  Human Rights in the Global Political Economy: Critical Processes by Tony Evans, Human Rights in International Politics by Franke Wilmer, and Exploring International Human Rights: Essential Readings by Rhonda L. Callaway and Julie Harrelson-Stephens, editors
This book also available as a Nook Book from Barnes & Noble
"An excellent, concise summary of today's most debated human rights topics."—Elise Carlson-Rainer, E-International Relations

"An accessible and thought-provoking discussion of the key controversies."—Gillian McFadyen, International Journal

"Excellent.... A thoughtful, up-to-date, evenhanded guide for the study of human rights. Highly recommended."—Choice

Student responses to Debating Human Rights—

"I loved how all possible arguments were presented in a concise manner. It helped keep my attention. Also I was impressed by not just the arguments, but the amount of legal support of those arguments there was. And having present day examples helped connect the dots."

"I enjoyed the unique nature of the book. Rarely do you get to read a book that literally covers both sides of the argument comprehensively."

"I really liked using this book. It made me challenge my own opinions. I thought the Position Papers worked well; it was cool to see differing opinions."


Even as human rights provide the most widely shared moral language of our time, they also spark highly contested debates among scholars and policymakers. When should states protect human rights? Does the global war on terror necessitate the violation of some rights? Are food, housing, and health care valid human rights? Debating Human Rights introduces the theory and practice of international human rights by examining fourteen controversies in the field.

Daniel Chong presents the major arguments on both sides of each debate, encouraging readers to think critically and form their own opinions. Designed for classroom use, the structure of the book makes it easy for students to become familiar with the major political and legal actors in the global human rights system and to understand the practical challenges of protecting civil, political, social, and economic rights.


Daniel P.L. Chong is professor of political science at Rollins College. He is author of Freedom from Poverty: NGOs and Human Rights Praxis.


  • The History and Philosophy of Human Rights.
  • When Should States Protect Human Rights?
  • How Can Western States Promote Human Rights in China?
  • Is the United Nations Human Rights Council Effective?
  • Does the International Community Have a "Responsibility to Protect"?
  • Should the United States Join the International Criminal Court?
  • How Should Human Rights Violators Be Held Accountable?
  • Does the War on Terrorism Require Restricting of Rights?
  • Are There Limits to the Freedom of Speech?
  • Do Women Have the Right to Choose Abortion?
  • Is Female Circumcision a Violation of Human Rights?
  • Are Food, Housing, and Health Care Valid Human Rights?
  • Do Transnational Corporations Violate Human Rights?
  • Do the Right to Health Justify a Violation of Property Rights?
  • Do Wealthy States Have an Obligation to Give Foreign Aid?
  • Advancing Human Rights Through Debate.
No rights in India.