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The Limits of Human Rights$
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Bardo Fassbender and Knut Traisbach

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198824756

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198824756.001.0001

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Differentiating Fundamental Rights and Economic Goals

Differentiating Fundamental Rights and Economic Goals

(p.175) 11 Differentiating Fundamental Rights and Economic Goals
The Limits of Human Rights

Aryeh Neier

Oxford University Press

We can usually protect liberty, dignity, equality, fairness, humanity, and autonomy—that is, fundamental rights—by imposing restraints on power. Variations in resources do not justify differences in protection. On the other hand, resources inevitably limit achievement of economic goals. Difficult choices must often be made when governments consider the redistribution of resources. Moreover, economic goals sometimes conflict with each other. The allocation of resources is at the heart of the political process and should be pursued through that process. It should take place in a manner that enjoys democratic legitimacy. To vindicate fundamental rights, it is necessary to persuade others to uphold universal norms. The redistribution of resources depends on winning the support of those pursuing their own interests and persuading others that, in turn, their interests are being protected. Fundamental rights differ from economic goals and different strategies are needed to secure them.

Keywords:   fundamental rights, economic goals, resources, redistribution, political legitimacy

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