The book describes the development in the relevance of human rights in thinking and politics. Definitions of crucial terms are introduced and their distinctions are debated. The book explains fundamental conceptions of human rights and maps theoretical discourses and controversies, e.g., the problematic of universalism and relativism, generations of rights, foundations of rights and the question of collective rights. The main focus of the book lies in outlining the ever increasing relevance of human rights in politics, or in general, in the functioning of society. A metaphor of expansion is used to depict the development of the phenomenon which is analysed in various dimensions. The publication analyses specifics of international human rights conventions and of international human rights regimes established to their protection.