Human rights have become a defining feature of contemporary society, permeating public discourse on politics, law and culture. But why did human rights emerge as a key social force in our time and what is the relationship between rights and the structures of both national and international society? By highlighting the institutional and socio-cultural context of human rights, this timely and thought-provoking collection provides illuminating insights into the emergence and contemporary societal significance of human rights. Drawn from both sides of the Atlantic and adhering to refreshingly different theoretical orientations, the contributors to this volume show how sociology can develop our understanding of human rights and how the emergence of human rights relates to classical sociological questions such as social change, modernisation or state formation.
Making Human Rights Intelligible provides an important sociological account of the development of international human rights. It will be of interest to human rights scholars and sociologists of law and anyone wishing to deepen their understanding of one of the most significant issues of our time.