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When Might Becomes Human Right: Essays on Democracy and the Crisis of Rationality / Janne Haaland Matláry

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Janne Haaland Mátlary has devoted her life to questions of ethics and politics.This preoccupation has become extraordinarily relevant to many of the issues that dominate the contemporary political agenda; particularly in Europe where the debate over relativism, human rights and majority tyranny has become a vital concern to very many of its citizens. Combining academic research with an active political life as a diplomat serving both her native Norway and the Holy See, Janne Haaland Mátlary is able to offer us profound insights into the importance of human dignity and human rights in current politics.

This book is essential reading for all who are concerned with issues of rationality, law, human rights, politics and religious freedom in European democracy today. As an academic, studying political science, her work has concentrated on security and foreign policy. She makes a strong case that foundations for human rights can be found through human reason, specifically, through retrieving and reanimating the classical tradition of rationalism that was once the pride of western civilization . She builds her analysis of politics with far more promising materials than the instrumental rationality and the radically individualistic concept of the person that have prevented the human rights movement thus far from reaching its full potential.

Janne Haaland Matláry is Professor of International Politics in the Department of Political Science of the University of Oslo, Norway, and Senior Adjunct Researcher in Security Policy at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. She was State Secretary for Foreign Affairs (Deputy Foreign Minister) of Norway 1997-2000, representing the Christian Democratic Party in the Bondevik government. Her main academic fields are the European Union and international security policy. She has published very widely and played significant roles in a number of international and consultative bodies. In April 2007 she was awarded Il Premio San Benedetto. Her biographical narrative of conversion to the Catholic Church, Faith Through Reason, is also published by Gracewing.

Read the review in AD2000 here: http://www.ad2000.com.au/articles/2008/feb2008p17_2734.html


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