Human Rights

The Commons and the Collective

Laura Westra

  • $37.95s paperback (9780774821186) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 2011. Paperback 2012
  • Subject Listing: Environmental Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 320 pp., 80 illus., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US 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 andjurisprudence, and has taught in the fields of philosophy, ethics, andenvironmental law at several US, Canadian, and Italian universities.

"A key feature of this book is that it deals with both moral and legal arguments. It also draws on Greek philosophy. This reflects the author's strength as a scholar of both philosophy and law. There are few authors in the environmental and international law fields that can bring this breadth of material and thought to bear on such a critical subject."
-Prue Taylor, School of Architecture and Planning, University of Auckland
Foreword / William E. Rees


Part 1: Basic Collective Rights for Law and Morality - The

1 Individual Rights and Collective Rights in Conflict: The
Ecocentric Perspective and the Commons

2 The Common Good and the Public Interest: Jus Cogens Norms and Erga
Omnes Obligations in a Lawless World

3 Communities and Collectives: The Interface

Part 2: Collective Rights, Globalization, and Democracy -
The Practice

4 Collective Basic Rights Today

5 Globalization, Democracy, and Collective Rights

6 Cosmopolitanism, the Moral Community, and Collective Human

Part 3: Toward a New Cosmopolitanism

7 World Law or International Legal Instruments? Toward the
Protection of Basic Collective Human Rights



Works Cited