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Theses Doctoral

Global Human Rights Obligations Relating to a Decent Standard of Living

Pribytkova, Elena

The dissertation provides a systematic analysis of global obligations relating to a decent standard of living. Global obligations represent a type of extraterritorial obligations, which does not presuppose any causal link between acts/omissions of global actors and individuals’ inability to enjoy their human rights. Global obligations are a key legal tool for empowering the most vulnerable individuals, promoting social justice, and reducing extreme poverty and inequality worldwide. Despite their importance, global obligations have not yet received adequate legal recognition, regulation, and realization. They are the least elucidated and the most unfulfilled type of extraterritorial obligations. Many scholars and practitioners highlight a major discrepancy between globalization and contemporary human rights law: socio-economic rights obligations are still often considered to be applicable only within states’ borders (if at all); obligations of intergovernmental organizations and non-state actors are frequently believed to be exhausted by negative duties to respect human rights; and contemporary mechanisms of the implementation of global obligations (for instance, obligations of development cooperation or international assistance) are insufficient, inefficient, and often violate human rights. In this context, the justification, conceptualization, and furtherance of global obligations is a task of paramount importance.
The primary goals of the dissertation are, therefore: first, to justify global obligations as human rights obligations of multiple actors; second, to analyze their nature, status, types, content, scope, right-holders, and duty-bearers; and third, to examine contemporary mechanisms used for the realization of global obligations and suggest some measures for their improvement. The research is aimed at proposing a coherent and plausible framework for a reconstruction of human rights law regulating global obligations.
The dissertation intends to uncover the interrelation between philosophical discourse, normative legal order, and legal practice. On the one hand, it demonstrates how contemporary theories of global justice can contribute to the justification, conceptualization, allocation, and implementation of global obligations. It translates philosophical ideas into the language of law and incorporates empirical findings in relation to global obligations. On the other hand, it explores whether human rights theory and practice are capable of, and essential to, solving the most pressing issues of global justice, extreme poverty and inequality alleviation. In particular, it shows that the existing international soft and hard law instruments, customary international law, and human rights practice also give an important framework for the legal acknowledgement, specification, and attribution of global obligations to various actors.
The dissertation takes a form of three Articles. The first Article provides a legal-philosophical justification for and outlines a legal conception of global obligations of multiple actors relating to a decent standard of living. The second Article undertakes a legal analysis of global obligations for sustainable development. The third Article explores the legal theory and practice of global obligations to assist in the realization of socio-economic rights.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Raz, Joseph
Barenberg, Mark
J.S.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 15, 2019