Human Rights, Positive Obligations and the Development of a Right to Security

Turner, Ian David orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8012-1480 (2016) Human Rights, Positive Obligations and the Development of a Right to Security. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

[thumbnail of Thesis document]
PDF (Thesis document) - Submitted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.



In this PhD by Published Work the author is advocating a right to security broadly grounded in ‘communitarian’ ideals. The ‘absolutist’ state theory of, say, Thomas Hobbes, to protect society from collapse, pays too little attention to genuine fears that the state can actually pose a threat to security; in giving the state significant powers of security, it can undermine the very values one is seeking to secure; and is there actual evidence that substantial gains in state power over the last fifteen years or so, since ‘9/11’, for example, have actually made nations more safe? But liberalism, at least the form suggested by, say, Ronald Dworkin, in being unprepared to accept a balance between rights and security, seemingly overlooks threats that undermine the very freedoms liberals like Dworkin wish to protect. And the liberal philosophy, at least its John Locke traditions, of absolute freedoms is too individualistic and attaches too little weight to responsibilities. Plotting a course, therefore, through these criticisms of state absolutism and liberalism one therefore ‘finds’ communitarianism as a philosophy to support a right to security. The author’s ‘communitarian’, right to security is based on an expansive interpretation of ‘positive’ duties of the state, to protect, say, the rights to life of individuals from violations by non-state actors such as suspected terrorists. The author is therefore not proposing an autonomous right to security; he is developing an existing one. And as the author still sees his right to security as largely a justiciable one enforceable before the courts, his approach is a more moderate aspect of communitarianism embracing some liberal ideas of constitutionalism such as judicial review.

Repository Staff Only: item control page