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International Protection of Human Rights as a Constitutional Issue: Promises, Problems and Prospects

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A different perspective on human rights

The western-centric concept of human rights and its intersection with international law has led to new, more global and less constrained conclusions and theories on the subject.

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The issue of human rights is interpreted differently in various parts of the world, especially within the context of international constitutionalism. The EU-funded HUMCONST2013 (International protection of human rights as a constitutional issue: Promises, problems and prospects) project examined the role of human rights within theories of international constitutionalism. It challenged the western bias on constitutionalisation of international law in order to offer alternative theories on human rights. More specifically, the project lent new insight into interdisciplinary research within international law and the limits of language. It looked closely at the dynamics between the political sphere and theories on global constitutionalism. HUMCONST2013 also researched the position of individuals in international law, conducting as well a historical, cross-cultural analysis of global constitutionalism. Fuelled by multiple exchanges with academics, the research elaborated these topics and provided novel ways of examining human rights. This led to new book chapters and several new articles being published in notable journals, in addition to presenting the outcomes in various conferences around the world. An engaging paper on the private sponsorship of refugees was also published, targeting both policymakers and the public at large. Noteworthy as well was the project's contribution to knowledge transfer via a workshop on the role of human rights as power-taming devices. The most important outcome of HUMCONST2013 is a monograph on human rights and international constitutionalism, slated for publication by Cambridge University Press. Overall, the research represents a critical study that can help shape future issues regarding the exercise of power on a global scale.


Human rights, international law, constitutionalism, HUMCONST2013, refugees

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