The Story of Human Rights

Marcello Flores


Many of the most pressing matters in world news today concern the denial of human rights. Flores tells the dramatic tale of the development of human rights across continents, borders and boundaries.

How did the culture of human rights develop? How did different schools of thought influence the legal documents and measures over the centuries? Was the French Revolution truly the turning point for human rights?

This book analyses these fundamental questions and outlines the history of human rights from the 18th century to the present day. It captures in one lucid source the essential aspects of the subject and is both an introduction to the arguments, and the key to indepth study of the concepts and principles.

While pushing the traditional boundaries between philosophical histories of rights and legal ones, Flores provides an objective approach to the modern-day, "westernised" concept, and expands it to analyse the contributions from African, Asian and Islamic cultures.

Key features/publicity

  • Covers the succession of ideas, and philosophical, political, and legal doctrines, together with significant organisations, associations, battles, campaigns, and institutions
  • Includes key individuals such as Cesare Beccaria, Marie Curie, Jean Henri Dunant (founder of the Red Cross), Olympe de Gouges (the author of the declaration of women's rights in the French Revolution), Eleanor Roosevelt. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Stuart Mill and Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Tackles, both historically and philosophically, the tragic and horrific violations of rights, from the years of Colonization to the Holocaust
  • Conclusion highlights current challenges, including the universal nature of rights with respect to other cultures
  • Draws attention to individual aspects of human rights that are sometimes in conflict with one another and identifies those which will impact on the forces currently in opposition to individual freedoms and liberties

Author info

Marcello Flores is Professor of Contemporary and Comparative History and coordinator of the European Master in Human Rights and Genocide Studies at the University of Siena. He has published extensively on human rights and genocide, totalitarianism, history of communism.

The Story of Human Rights

Publication details

  • Publication date: 28 July 2011
  • Format: Paperback
  • Price: £26.00
  • Extent: 340pp
  • ISBN: 978-1-899999-49-1
  • Categories: History, Human Rights, International Relations, Politics