[PgC] Human rights in a realist world: How power dictates progress / by Flavio Azevedo


The notion that the interests of the most powerful are the leading force in moderating global politics belittles the ideal of an international community. Yet, this is the first lesson of realpolitiek and a resilient modus operandi in today’s international relations. The emergence of human rights discourse and international human rights regimes was not an anticipated phenomenon. Amartya Sen suggests that the urgency to act and quickly respond to worldwide appalling deprivations, hunger and oppression in World War II was more important than developing conceptual and/or theoretical justification.  But international consensus were short lived and only lasted for a few years. With the onset of the Cold War, rhetoric and power gave rise to international cleavages and 'versions' of human rights. This is the setting in which human rights reside, between 'how the world is' and 'how it should be'.

[Dissertation for Post-Graduate Diploma at Geneva University]