Civil Rights and Political Human Rights: Contesting Human Rights Failures Within the Minimally Democratic State: Research and Analysis

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Allen Buchanan argues that democracy ought to be added to the list of basic human rights, but he limits the conception of democracy to a minimum of electoral representation within the nation state, effectively collapsing human rights into civil rights. This, however, leaves him unable to address the problem of human rights failures occurring within established states that meet his standard of minimal democratic representation. In order to address this problem, I appeal to James Bohman's conception of the political human rights of all members of humanity, as opposed to the civil rights of the citizens of particular states. I argue that while this provides the basis on which to address the problem of human rights failures within minimally democratic states, Bohman's conception also entails the potential for deep tensions to arise between the different claims of civil and human rights.