Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights


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Michael Ignatieff and the Sovereign Right to be Wrong about Justice (and Law as Human Rights’ Embarrassing Forebear)

Michael Ignatieff Speaking at the National Humanities Center Source: Humanity Blog

Michael Ignatieff Speaking at the National Humanities Center
Source: Humanity Blog

By Benjamin Authers

Geoffrey Harpham’s recent posting on the Humanity Blog raises a number of interesting questions at the intersection of human rights, intervention, and law. At the heart of Harpham’s article is a talk that Michael Ignatieff gave in March 2013 at a National Humanities Center Conference on Human Rights and the Humanities. There, Ignatieff—academic, novelist, journalist, and former leader of the Canadian Liberal Party—put forward what was received as a rather controversial thesis: that states have a right to “be wrong” about justice.

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