In Defense of Soft Universalism : a Modest, yet Presumptuous Position

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  • Department of Jurisprudence
The present paper is work in progress, a preliminary attempt to present a position of soft universalism as regards human rights. The position is not seen as a compromise between contradicting perceptions, universalism and relativism, but rather as a better and more correct position. It takes as a point of departure that human beings are a gregarious species with a highly developed capacity i.a. for individuality and for rights, thus avoiding the liberalists’ mistake of putting the individual first and the communitarians’ of putting society first. The relevant group or society for international human rights is the emerging global society, and human rights law is therefore best understood as (part of) the law of this emerging society. Seen in this way, human rights are an attempt to cope with a (partly) new situation, based on knowledge of human beings and society, a knowledge which has improved considerably since the time of the natural rights theories and the enlightenment. As a consequence prevailing international human rights are not the only possible human rights, and soft universalism is therefore partially open as regards the content of human rights, even though non discrimination and other elements have some naturalness to them.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCuadernos constitucionales de la Cátedra Fadrique Furió Ceriol
Journal publication year2011
Journal number62/63
Pages113-126
Number of pages14
ISSN1133-7087
StatePublished

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 42148349

Find the Department of Law

Show detailed map

Contact Information

Department of Law
School of Business and Social Sciences
Aarhus University
Bartholins Allé 16
DK-8000 Aarhus C

E-mail: jura@au.dk

Tel: +45 8715 0000 (Aarhus University switchboard)
Fax: +45 8715 0201

CVR no: 31119103
P no: 1013138075
EAN no: 5798000419520
Budget code: 32111

Are you a student or an employee?

Find information about exams, teaching, student counselling, relocation and more.

For Students



Information for staff members at the department.

For staff

About the School of Business and Social Sciences?

School of Business and Social Sciences is a broad business school and one of the four main academic areas at Aarhus University.

With approx. 14,000 full-time students, several thousand part-time students, almost 225 PhD students and more than 500 academic staff members, School of Business and Social Sciences ranks among the largest business schools in Europe. Furthermore, it is the largest business and social sciences unit in Denmark at university level with a broad academic base.

Here you can find School of Business and Social Sciences

Show detailed map

Aarhus University
Nordre Ringgade 1
DK-8000 Aarhus C

Email: au@au.dk
Tel: +45 8715 0000
Fax: +45 8715 0201

CVR no: 31119103

AU on social media
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter
YouTube