Are human rights dead?

I debate with Professor Ian Hurd. I chose to define “human rights” as human rights law. He used a more capacious definition, treating “human rights” as any moral assertion by oppressed people against those with power. I agree that that kind of behavior is alive and well, as it has been for millennia, but that’s not what people mean by human rights.

Many people think of human rights as whatever a liberal democracy or a social democracy does. If that’s what human rights means, then it isn’t dead, but it’s hardly prospering either.