Human rights

Shaping development ethics, pragmatics, law, policy and politics

Authored by: Polly Vizard

Routledge Handbook of Development Ethics

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138647909
eBook ISBN: 9781315626796
Adobe ISBN:


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The idea of human rights can contribute in several ways to broader reflection on the ends and means of worthwhile development. This chapter presents five ways in which development theorists, policy makers, practitioners and agitators have appealed to the idea of human rights: as ethically justified claims; as a source of pragmatic international consensus on the values underpinning worthwhile development; as legal guarantees; as a policy framework for development policies, programmes and arrangements; and as elements of civic action mobilisation and broader social movements. Conclusions are drawn regarding the importance of the idea of human rights both for thinking about the theoretical characterisation of worthwhile development and the practical action that can help to bring worthwhile development about.

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