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Human Development &
Capability Association

Agency, Well-Being and Justice

Call for Papers: Special Issue, Philosophies: “The Philosophy of Human Rights Obligations and Omissions”

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

The main topic of this Special Issue is human rights omissions. States as the primary human rights duty bearers are found wanting more often than not, failing to respect, protect and fulfill human rights according to the commitments made. Such omissions are hinged on the existence of obligations; thus, the two should be discussed in relation to each other. We welcome papers from a wide variety of philosophical and multi-disciplinary perspectives (philosophy, law, political science, economy, theology, etc.) that address these topics and the relationships between them.

Despite the many formal political achievements in the form of declarations, bills and treaties, actual human rights implementation remains illusionary to the majority of humans. The reasons are manifold and include (1) deliberately vague terminology in legal documents, (2) a lack of national codification, (3) weak and failing states, (4) the inherently voluntary nature of commitments made by sovereign states and (5) the unclear responsibility of dominant and obtrusive actors such as large multinational corporations.

Problems such as these are known to states and grassroots activist alike, yet the common conclusion seems to be to proceed with caution. A possible explanation for this could be that the feasibility of new reforms is unclear to all, while the risks in terms of a possible loss of gains made in such a would-be renegotiation is equally clear. A careful maintenance of the status quo focusing on ceremonial implementation was hardly the aim of any actor but has still become a reasonable description of the current situation.

To promote progress in the field of human rights, academically as well as in society, it is crucial that the human rights discourse focuses more on known yet highly volatile issues such as these. The aim of this Special Issue is to contribute to a substantive discussion on human rights obligations and omissions by, among other things, formulating a concrete and functional critique of the understandings, assumptions and mechanisms for human rights protection and implementation.

Dr. Cathrine Felix
Dr. Olof Beckman
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Philosophies is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.



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