In this article, written with Tom Wren, the authors set out to reconcile the traditional, normative foundational idea of human rights with a social constructivist point of view. Here, they argue that one can make perfect sense of human rights as social constructions without committing to the universalist position that human rights are a basic set of claims for all human beings everywhere. Rather one should think of human rights as candidates or nominees for universal principles – candidates that are continually vetted and revised just as persons revise mindsets and social constructions. Whether or not this preserves a strong notion of human rights is still the subject of contention and controversy.Original publication: Werhane, Patricia H. and Wren, Thomas E. "Human Rights as Social Constructions." Listening: Journal of Communication Ethics, Religion, and Culture (2014) 49: 121–36. ©2014 Reprinted with permission.
Werhane, P. , Wren, T. (2019)., Human rights as social constructions, in D. Bevan & R. W. Wolfe (eds.), Systems thinking and moral imagination, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 167-181.
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