Relativity or universality: a false dichotomy that violates human rights

‘Can We Still Afford Human Rights?’ This was the provocative question asked by the four editors of the book Can We Still Afford Human Rights? Critical Reflections on Universality, Proliferation and Costs (Edward Elgar 2020). A question which several authors aim to answer in their contributions to the book. In the volume, 14 chapters focus on one of the three interlinked topics of universality, proliferation and costs. In this blog series, three posts relating to the book focus on one of these topics respectively. In this post, Nick Goetschalckx explains why the difference between relative and universal views of human rights constitutes a false dichotomy that threatens to keep focus away from the essence of human rights.

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