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The chapter concludes that the notion that negative and positive obligations can be reconciled, or even are mutually supportive, is misguided. It argues instead that the two are antagonistic, and that the solution will only ever be an unsatisfactory and messy compromise. If this compromise resolves too much in favour of a view of rights which sees them as declaring conditions to be realised on the road to universal human welfare, then this will ultimately work to undermine individual agency. This will more than likely have the unintended consequence of making people less, rather than more, enthusiastic about the human rights movement.

Critical theory and human rights

From compassion to coercion


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