Rights have become,in recent years, a significant concern of legal theorists, as well as of those involved in moral and political philosophy. This new book seeks to move a number of debates forward by developing the analysis of rights and focusing upon more general theoretical considerations relating to rights.
The book is divided into five parts. The first includes an explanation of the part played by conceptual analysis within jurisprudence, while the second conducts a re-examination of Hohfeld's analysis of rights. This part deals with the arguments advanced by a number of modern theorists including Hart, White and MacCormick. The third part contains the author's own framework for discussing rights, including examples drawn from tort, constitutional law and international law, together with an analysis of Unger's theory of rights. Part four centres on the perceived conflict between Dworkin, Rawls and Nozick as the defenders of a rights approach, and Bentham as the champion of utilitarianism and concludes that neither deals with the fundamental concerns of morality on which their theories are based. The fifth part consists of a conclusion which reflects on the key themes and considers the role of rights within general theory.
For students, particularly helpful features of the book are the overt consideration of jurisprudential methodology and the opportunity to examine a number of key theorists linked by their divergent views on the subject of rights.