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Human Rights, Democracy, and Development

Boaventura de Sousa Santos | August 22, 2014

Human rights are undergoing a transformation. Around the world debates have proliferated regarding human rights discourses, practices, and studies to the point that some speak about “the end of human rights.” This context is unlike anything since the beginning of the international human rights system around the mid twentieth century.


This book by Boaventura de Sousa Santos is a fundamental contribution to the debate. As in his previous works, Santos combines theory and practice, ideas and experience, to analyze the main criticisms and current dilemmas of human rights. But his critical effort has a clear reconstructive purpose. The aim is to confront these tensions in order to formulate new theories and proposals for action, capable of reinforcing the emancipatory potential of human rights.

The result is an essential book for studies and discussions on the subject in Latin America, in a context marked by the tension between development such as economic growth on the one hand and human rights and environmental justice on the other. For this reason, its reading will be useful for academics, activists, students, journalists and all those interested in the future of these rights.

Find the entire book here

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