James W. Nickel

Professor of Philosophy and Law Emeritus

University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL

Jim Nickel writes on human rights law and theory, jurisprudence, and political philosophy. He is the author of Making Sense of Human Rights (2nd ed. 2007) and numerous articles in philosophy and law. See Recent Articles and Best Writings just below. For a Full CV click here.

Recent Articles:

"Linkage Arguments For and Against Rights," Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, forthcoming.

"Moral Grounds for Economic and Social Rights," in The Oxford Handbook of Economic and Social Rights (Malcolm Langford and Katharine G. Young, eds., Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

Best Writings

Making Sense of Human Rights, Second Edition, Wiley-Blackwell, 2007, 263 pages. Named number 2 of the Five best books on human rights (2016).

Human Rights entry, Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy (first published 2003 most recent update 2019).

"Assigning Functions to Human Rights: Methodological Issues in Human Rights Theory," in Human Rights: Moral or Political?, edited by Adam Etinson (Oxford University Press, 2018): 145-159.

“Two Models of Normative Frameworks for Human Rights during Emergencies” in Evan J. Criddle, ed., Human Rights in Emergencies (Cambridge University Press, 2016): 56-80.

“Can a Right to Health Care be Justified by Linkage Arguments?” Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics. 17:3 (2016): 293-306.

“Giving Up on the Right to Work,” in Virginia Mantouvalou, ed., The Right to Work: Legal and Philosophical Perspectives (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2015): 137-148.

Personal Deserts and Human Rights,” Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights, ed. Rowan Cruft, S. Matthew Liao and Massimo Renzo (Oxford University Press, 2015): 153-165.

"What Future for Human Rights?, "Ethics and International Affairs" 28 (2014): 213-223. Republished 2014 in a Carnegie Council ebook: "Ethics for a Connected World: The Carnegie Council Centennial Roundtables".

“Goals and Rights--Working Together?”, in Malcolm Langford et. al, The MDGs and Human Rights: Past, Present, and Future (Cambridge University Press, 2013): 38-48.

Restraining Orders, Liberty, and Due Process,” in Andrew Ashworth & Lucia Zedner, eds., Prevention and the Limits of the Criminal Law (Oxford University Press 2012): 156-177.

"Indivisibility and Linkage Arguments: A Reply to Gilabert," Human Rights Quarterly 32.2 (2010): 439-446

"Philosophical Issues in International Environmental Law," (with Daniel Magraw), in Samantha Besson and John Tasioulas, eds., The Philosophy of International Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010): 453-71. Reprinted in Steve Vanderheiden, ed., Environmental Rights (Ashgate 2012).

"Rethinking Indivisibility: Towards a Theory of Supporting Relations between Human Rights," Human Rights Quarterly 30 (2008): 984-1001. Reprinted in Weissbrodt, et. al., International Human Rights: Law, Policy, and Process, 5th edition (Carolina Academic Press 2021).

"Due Process Rights and Terrorist Emergencies", European Journal of Legal Studies (1: 2007).

"Are Human Rights Mainly Implemented by Intervention?" in Rex Martin and David Reidy, eds. Rawls's Law of Peoples: A realistic utopia? Blackwells 2006: 263-277.

"Who Needs Freedom of Religion?", Colorado Law Review 76 (2005): 909-933.

"Poverty and Rights," Philosophical Quarterly, 55 (2005): 385-402. This essay won the Philosophical Quarterly's 2004 essay prize. It was reprinted in condensed form in Corpus Christi College Pelican Record LXII (2005): 89-98. A long except from this article appeared in Henkin, Cleveland, Helfer, Neuman, and Orentlicher, eds. Human Rights (University Casebook Series, 2009). And a revised version, "A Defense of Welfare Rights as Human Rights," appeared in Debates in Political Philosophy, eds. John Christman and Thomas Christiano (Blackwells, 2009).

"Moral Dimensions of Four Ways of Getting Rid of Groups," in A. Jokic, ed., War Crimes and Collective Wrongdoing (Malden, MA: Blackwells, 2001). 163-175.

"Economic Liberties" in Victoria Davion and Clark Wolf, eds., The Idea of Political Liberalism (Lanham, Md: Rowman and Littlefield, 2000). 155-175.

"The Liberty Dimension of Historic and Contemporary Segregation," Law and Philosophy 16 (1997): 259-77. Reprinted in Gerald J. Postema, ed., Racism and the Law: The Legacy and Lessons of Plessy (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997): 39-57.

Group Agency and Group Rights," in Ian Shapiro and Will Kymlicka, eds., Ethnicity and Group Rights (Nomos XXXIX) New York University Press, 1997: 235-256.

"A Human Rights Approach to World Hunger," in Aiken and LaFollette, editors, World Hunger and Morality, Second Edition, Prentice-Hall, 1995: 171-185.

"What's Wrong with Ethnic Cleansing?" Journal of Social Philosophy 26 (1995): 5-15. Reprinted in Patrick Hayden, ed., The Philosophy of Human Rights (St. Paul: Paragon House, 2001): 465-477.

"Rethinking Rawls' Theory of Liberty and Rights," Chicago-Kent Law Review 69 (1994): 763-785.

"Ethnocide and Indigenous Peoples," Journal of Social Philosophy 25 (1994): 84-98.

"Integrating Environmentalism and Human Rights" (with Eduardo Viola), Environmental Ethics 16 (1994): 265-271. Translated into Italian and published in M. Greco (ed.), Diritti umani e ambiente: Giustizia e sicurezza nella questione ecologica [Human Rights and the Environment:Justice and Security in the Ecological Question], Edizioni Cultura della Pace, Firenze, 2000. Reprinted in Andrew Light and Holmes Rolston, eds., Environmental Ethics: An Anthology, Blackwells 2002.

"The Human Right to a Safe Environment," Yale Journal of International Law 18:1 (1993), 281-295. Reprinted in Patrick Hayden, ed., The Philosophy of Human Rights (St. Paul: Paragon House, 2001): 601-618. Also reprinted in Dinah Shelton, ed., Human Rights and the Environment (2011).

"Are Human Rights Utopian?", Philosophy and Public Affairs 11 (1982), 246-264. Reprint ed in Making Ethical Decisions (1984).

"Is There a Human Right to Employment?", Philosophical Forum 11 (1980), 149-170. Reprinted in Werhane, et. al., eds, Philosophical Issues in Human Rights (1986).

"Does the Constitution Mean What it Always Meant?" (with Stephen R. Munzer), Columbia Law Review 77 (1977), 1029-1062. Reprinted in Larry May, et. al., eds., Legal Philosophy: Multiple Perspectives (Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Co., 2000): 440-450.

"Preferential Policies in Hiring and Admissions," Columbia Law Review 75 (1975), 534-558. Reprinted in Gross, ed., Reverse Discrimination (1976), Wasserstrom, ed., Today's Moral Problems (2nd edition, 1979), and in Valsquez and Rostenkowski, Ethics: Theory and Practice (1985).

Blogs on human rights and COVID-19 (all written in spring 2020):

Last updated April 2021

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