In A Global Political Morality, Michael J. Perry addresses several related questions in human rights theory, political theory and constitutional theory. He begins by explaining what the term ‘human right’ means and then elaborates and defends the morality of human rights, which is the first truly global morality in human history. Perry also pursues the implications of the morality of human rights for democratic governance and for the proper role of courts – especially the US Supreme Court – in protecting constitutionally entrenched human rights. The principal constitutional controversies discussed in the book are capital punishment, race-based affirmative action, same-sex marriage, physician-assisted suicide and abortion.
Presents an elaboration and defence of human rights, first truly global political morality in human history.
Part I. The Morality of Human Rights:
1. What are ‘human rights’? Against the ‘orthodox’ view
2. What reason(s) do we have, if any, to take human rights seriously? Beyond ‘human dignity’
Part II. From the Morality of Human Rights to Democracy and to Certain Limitations on Democracy:
3. The three pillars of democracy: the human rights to democratic governance, intellectual freedom, and moral equality
4. Democracy limited: the human right to religious and moral freedom
Part III. Human Rights, Democracy, and Constitutionalism:
5. A theory of judicial review
6. The theory illustrated: five constitutional controversies, five judicial opinions
7. Poverty as a human rights issue: constitutionalism-related reflections
Concluding note: human rights foundationalism.
Michael J. Perry, Emory University, Atlanta
Michael J. Perry has held a Robert W. Woodruff University Chair at Emory University, Atlanta since 2003, where he teaches in the School of Law. Perry is also a Senior Fellow at Emory University’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion and a co-editor of the Journal of Law and Religion. He is the author of twelve books and over eighty-five articles, essays and book chapters.