Human Rights

The Commons and the Collective

Laura Westra

  • $37.95s paperback (9780774821186) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: July 2012
  • Subject Listing: Environmental Studies, Law
  • Bibliographic information: 392 pp., 80 illus., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: U.S. rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

International law evolved to protect human rights. But what are human rights? Does the term have the same meaning in a world being transformed by climate change and globalized trade? Are existing laws sufficient to ensure humanity’s survival? Westra argues that international law privileges individual over collective rights, permitting multinational corporations to overlook the collectivity and the environment in their quest for wealth. Unless policy makers redefine human rights and reformulate environmental law to protect the preconditions for life itself - water, food, clean air, and biodiversity - humankind faces the complete loss of the ecological commons, one of our most basic human rights.

Laura Westra holds doctorates in both philosophy and jurisprudence, and has taught in the fields of philosophy, ethics, and environmental law at several US, Canadian, and Italian universities.