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Human Rights

(4,237 words)

Author(s): Bielefeldt, Heiner
1. The purpose of human rights is to win political and juridical acknowledgment, and to afford effective protection, in a specifically modern manner, of the dignity and liberty of every human being. An example from recent times: In July 1998, Ruholla Rohani, a member of → Baha'i, was executed in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Over the preceding years, several members of the post-Islamic religious community of Baha'i had been sentenced to death in Iran on grounds of apostasy from Islam. It is not only members of religious minori…


(1,047 words)

Author(s): Bielefeldt, Heiner
Democracy as the Principle of the Legitimation of the Political 1. Democracy was already discussed in the philosophy of antiquity; only in modern times, however, has it become the principle of the legitimation of government. Unlike the traditional typology of the constitution, essentially molded by Aristotle, democracy today no longer posits merely one form of government among the many that might be possible; instead, it molds the modern versions in terms of the traditional concept of the ‘common good’ ( bonum commune), on which the legitimation of the political rests across…