Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

A Global Political Morality
Human Rights, Democracy, and Constitutionalism

$24.00 USD

  • Date Published: March 2017
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781108150637

$ 24.00 USD
Adobe eBook Reader

You will be taken to for this purchase
Buy eBook Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, Paperback

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • In A Global Political Morality, Michael J. Perry addresses several related questions in human rights theory, political theory and constitutional theory. He begins by explaining what the term 'human right' means and then elaborates and defends the morality of human rights, which is the first truly global morality in human history. Perry also pursues the implications of the morality of human rights for democratic governance and for the proper role of courts - especially the US Supreme Court - in protecting constitutionally entrenched human rights. The principal constitutional controversies discussed in the book are capital punishment, race-based affirmative action, same-sex marriage, physician-assisted suicide and abortion.

    • Presents an elaboration and defence of human rights, first truly global political morality in human history
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    '… an extremely important and timely work, by one of the most prominent scholars of human rights, constitutional law and religious freedom in the United States. In it, Perry does nothing less than seek to reorient our understanding of human rights, by rooting them in the psychological phenomenon of agape – or love, as in brotherly love or the unconditional love of God, of the highest form. This foundation, which resonates better than liberal attitudes of respect with central tenets of the major world religions in both West and East, allows him to offer an account of human rights that should prove increasingly influential as globalization progresses. Perry's work presses us to think more deeply about how human rights might be perfected from a moral perspective, and not just better enforced. His views are especially laudable in that they draw on what is deep about religious experience without countenancing what is narrow.' Robin Bradley Kar, Walter V. Schaefer Visiting Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School and University of Illinois

    'Michael J. Perry's A Global Political Morality: Human Rights, Democracy, and Constitutionalism is a tour de force. It is a cutting-edge book in political theory that is deeply informed by a number of disciplines, including modern global history, constitutional law, international law, and religious studies. It is written in a clear, engaging, and economical style. Perry incorporates the fruits of his previous scholarship in this work of fresh insight.' M. Cathleen Kaveny, Darald and Juliet Libby Professor of Law and Theology, Boston College, Massachusetts

    'I am enthusiastic about the contributions this book makes to the literature of human rights and constitutionalism. It presents an original thesis about human rights discourse and a novel argument about how that discourse ought to fit into our existing structure for constitutional law and adjudication. Perry's position is logically constructed and lucidly presented. In explicating it he offers one illuminating insight after another. I have read fairly widely in the human rights literature and I have not read any argument that makes more sense in explaining the force of the human rights idea.' Richard S. Kay, Wallace Stevens Professor of Law, University of Connecticut

    'With his usual precision, Michael Perry offers a powerful – and qualified – defense of a political morality of human rights that illuminates important issues of substance and institutional design. Perry's explanation of how courts can enforce substantive human rights without undermining the human right to democratic self-government by using a carefully defined concept of deference, is a significant contribution to his already distinguished body of work.' Mark Tushnet, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, Massachusetts

    'Long an accomplished and distinctive liberal-minded voice in both fields, Michael Perry returns here to the contentious question of whether and how an express regard for the international discourse of human rights can and should enter into constitutional adjudication in the US. The work brings together Perry's moderately combative account of a moral core in the human-rights discourse with a perspicuous probing of the grounds for a justiciable bill of rights in a liberal democracy, yielding much for both moralists and lawyers to chew on.' Frank I. Michelman, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Emeritus, Harvard Law School, Massachusetts

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2017
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781108150637
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Morality of Human Rights:
    1. What are 'human rights'? Against the 'orthodox' view
    2. What reason(s) do we have, if any, to take human rights seriously? Beyond 'human dignity'
    Part II. From the Morality of Human Rights to Democracy and to Certain Limitations on Democracy:
    3. The three pillars of democracy: the human rights to democratic governance, intellectual freedom, and moral equality
    4. Democracy limited: the human right to religious and moral freedom
    Part III. Human Rights, Democracy, and Constitutionalism:
    5. A theory of judicial review
    6. The theory illustrated: five constitutional controversies, five judicial opinions
    7. Poverty as a human rights issue: constitutionalism-related reflections
    Concluding note: human rights foundationalism.

  • Author

    Michael J. Perry, Emory University, Atlanta
    Michael J. Perry has held a Robert W. Woodruff University Chair at Emory University, Atlanta since 2003, where he teaches in the School of Law. Perry is also a Senior Fellow at Emory University's Center for the Study of Law and Religion and a co-editor of the Journal of Law and Religion. He is the author of twelve books and over eighty-five articles, essays and book chapters.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.