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Human Rights and World Public Order (2nd Edition): The Basic Policies of an International Law of Human Dignity

Myres S. McDougal, Harold D. Lasswell, Lung-chu Chen


In 1980, the original edition of this book was published to present a “comprehensive framework of inquiry” from which to approach international human rights law and international law, and inadequacies therein in the discourse of that time by combining theme, structure, method, and process. As a classic text of the New Haven School of International Law, this new edition explores human rights and international law in the broadest sense, taking into account social sciences research while embracing all values secured, or consequently fulfilled, or needed to thus be achieved. The book summarizes important trends in contemporary human rights, such as the clarification of a third generation of human rights (human solidarity rights); the emergence and development of the concept of human security and of a comprehensive global bill of human rights; the evolution from state sovereignty to the responsibility to protect; the enforcement of individual criminal responsibility for violations of human rights norms; and the vital role played by civil society. Special focus is given to the globalizing effects of technology and interconnectedness as well as the growing role of the individual in the processes of authoritative decision and effective power. The book also considers probable future developments for human rights and world public order and concludes with a proposal for “a grand strategy of simultaneity” for realizing a world community of human dignity and human security.

Bibliographic Information

Myres S. McDougal, author

Harold D. Lasswell, author

Lung-chu Chen, author

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