Talk of human rights is, currently, nearly as ubiquitous as talk of globalisation. While globalisation has been described as ‘the most over used and under specified term in the international policy sciences since the end of the Cold War’, the same could reasonably be said of ‘human rights’. Human rights are a product of the immediate aftermath of World War II, and thus they developed, in their contemporary form, in the context of the Cold War. The philosophical and political roots of human rights, of course, date back at least to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and some would say even further, to the Stoics of Ancient Greece. Globalisation, too, has unfolded mainly in the late twentieth-century and has reached a position of prominence in the post-Cold War context; at this juncture, and according to popular perception, the spread of market capitalism, Western culture and modern technology fit comfortably with the death of socialism and the ‘end of history’. But globalisation too has roots that date back much earlier – as early as, it has been argued, the fourteenth century.