The subject of the book - the universal value of human rights and democracy - is highly topical in view of the “democratic imperialism” of the current US-government. While leaving aside the problem of the acceptability of war as a means to promote democracy (e.g. the second Gulf War), the book focusses on a philosophical, moral and pragmatical defence of the universal application of democracy and human rights. Only if this defence is successful can the discussion on the means and tactics of democratic imperialism begin.
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The originality of the book is its defence of the universal value of both democracy and human rights. Whereas the defence of the universality of human rights has a long tradition, there is as yet almost no literature on the universal desirability of democracy. The defence is partly philosophical, ethical, political, legal and practical. It draws on the history of philosophy and ethics, as well as on political science.
The book is directed at a general public interested in geo-politics and in the state of democracy back home. Politicians, lawyers, journalists and students may find it interesting.
As it discusses important parts of the history of political philosophy, it can also be used as a textbook for university students in philosophy or politics.