HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights, Global Affairs and Philosophy


I begin by summarizing some of the main features of Buchanan’s account. I argue next that his account gets no support from defeating his envisaged opponent, the Mirroring View of human rights. Then I discuss some general ideas about the concept and different conceptions of human rights before introducing my own conception and explaining why I think it has certain advantages over Buchanan’s. In particular, my account is better suited for the intellectual engagement with China that philosophers should contribute to and whose centrality Buchanan recognizes.


Risse, Mathias. "Approaching Human Rights Law Philosophically: Reflections on Allen Buchanan, The Heart of Human Rights." Law and Philosophy 36.2 (April 2017): 169-190.