Human Rights

Author: Makau Mutua
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812204158
Size: 62.87 MB
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In 1948 the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and with it a profusion of norms, processes, and institutions to define, promote, and protect human rights. Today virtually every cause seeks to cloak itself in the righteous language of rights. But even so, this universal reliance on the rights idiom has not succeeded in creating common ground and deep agreement as to the scope, content, and philosophical bases for human rights. Makau Mutua argues that the human rights enterprise inappropriately presents itself as a guarantor of eternal truths without which human civilization is impossible. Mutua contends that in fact the human rights corpus, though well meaning, is a Eurocentric construct for the reconstitution of non-Western societies and peoples with a set of culturally biased norms and practices. Mutua maintains that if the human rights movement is to succeed, it must move away from Eurocentrism as a civilizing crusade and attack on non-European peoples. Only a genuine multicultural approach to human rights can make it truly universal. Indigenous, non-European traditions of Asia, Africa, the Pacific, and the Americas must be deployed to deconstruct—and to reconstruct—a universal bundle of rights that all human societies can claim as theirs.

Human Rights Ngos In East Africa

Author: Makau Mutua
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812203933
Size: 63.76 MB
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Human rights nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are by definition not part of the state. Rather, they are an element of civil society, the strands of the fabric of organized life in countries, and crucial to the prospect of political democracy. Civil society is a very recent phenomenon in East African nations, where authoritarian regimes have prevailed and human rights watchdogs have had a critical role to play. While the state remains one of the major challenges to human rights efforts in the countries of the region, other problems that are internal to the human rights movement are also of a serious nature, and they are many: What are the social bases of the human rights enterprise in transitional societies? What mandate can human rights NGOs claim, and in whose name do they operate? Human Rights NGOs in East Africa critically explores the anatomy of the human rights movement in the East African region, examining its origins, challenges, and emergent themes in the context of political transitions. In particular, the book seeks to understand the political and normative challenges that face this young but vibrant civil society in the vortex of globalization. The book brings together the most celebrated human rights thinkers in East Africa, enriched by contributions from their colleagues in South Africa and the United States. To date, very little has been written about the struggles and accomplishments of civil society in the nations of East Africa. This book will fill that gap and prove to be an invaluable tool for understanding and teaching about human rights in this complex and vital part of the world.

Theoretical Perspectives On Human Rights And Literature

Author: Elizabeth Swanson Goldberg
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136646388
Size: 22.61 MB
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What can literary theory reveal about discourses and practices of human rights, and how can human rights frameworks help to make sense of literature? How have human rights concerns shaped the literary marketplace, and how can literature impact human rights concerns? Essays in this volume theorize how both literature and reading literarily can shape understanding of human rights in productive ways. Contributors to Theoretical Perspectives on Human Rights and Literature provide a shared history of modern literature and rights; theorize how trauma, ethics, subjectivity, and witnessing shape representations of human rights violations and claims in literary texts across a range of genres (including poetry, the novel, graphic narrative, short story, testimonial, and religious fables); and consider a range of civil, political, social, economic, and cultural rights and their representations. The authors reflect on the imperial and colonial histories of human rights as well as the cynical mobilization of human rights discourses in the name of war, violence, and repression; at the same time, they take seriously Gayatri Spivak’s exhortation that human rights is something that we "cannot not want," exploring the central function of storytelling at the heart of all human rights claims, discourses, and policies.

Decolonization And The Evolution Of International Human Rights

Author: Roland Burke
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 9780812205329
Size: 33.96 MB
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In the decades following the triumphant proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, the UN General Assembly was transformed by the arrival of newly independent states from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. This diverse constellation of states introduced new ideas, methods, and priorities to the human rights program. Their influence was magnified by the highly effective nature of Asian, Arab, and African diplomacy in the UN human rights bodies and the sheer numerical superiority of the so-called Afro-Asian bloc. Owing to the nature of General Assembly procedure, the Third World states dominated the human rights agenda, and enthusiastic support for universal human rights was replaced by decades of authoritarianism and an increasingly strident rejection of the ideas laid out in the Universal Declaration. In Decolonization and the Evolution of International Human Rights, Roland Burke explores the changing impact of decolonization on the UN human rights program. By recovering the contributions of those Asian, African, and Arab voices that joined the global rights debate, Burke demonstrates the central importance of Third World influence across the most pivotal battles in the United Nations, from those that secured the principle of universality, to the passage of the first binding human rights treaties, to the flawed but radical step of studying individual pleas for help. The very presence of so many independent voices from outside the West, and the often defensive nature of Western interventions, complicates the common presumption that the postwar human rights project was driven by Europe and the United States. Drawing on UN transcripts, archives, and the personal papers of key historical actors, this book challenges the notion that the international rights order was imposed on an unwilling and marginalized Third World. Far from being excluded, Asian, African, and Middle Eastern diplomats were powerful agents in both advancing and later obstructing the promotion of human rights.

Human Rights In Cross Cultural Perspectives

Author: Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812200195
Size: 15.46 MB
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Human rights violations are perpetrated in all parts of the world, and the universal reaction to such atrocities is overwhelmingly one of horror and sadness. Yet, as Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im and his contributors attest, our viewpoint is clouded and biased by the expectations native to our own culture. How do other cultures view human rights issues? Can an analysis of these issues through multiple viewpoints, both cross-cultural and indigenous, help us reinterpret and reconstruct prevailing theories of human rights?

Human Rights In International Relations

Author: David P. Forsythe
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107015677
Size: 65.60 MB
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Third edition of Forsythe's successful textbook provides an overview of human rights in an age of upheaval in international politics.

Human Rights Inc

Author: Joseph Slaughter
Publisher: Fordham Univ Press
ISBN: 0823228193
Size: 42.76 MB
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In this timely study of the historical, ideological, and formal interdependencies of the novel and human rights, Joseph Slaughter demonstrates that the twentieth-century rise of world literatureand international human rights law are related phenomena. Slaughter argues that international law shares with the modern novel a particular conception of the human individual. The Bildungsroman, the novel of coming of age, fills out this image, offering a conceptual vocabulary, a humanist social vision, and a narrative grammar for what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and early literary theorists both call the free and full development of the human personality. Revising our received understanding of the relationship between law and literature, Slaughter suggests that this narrative form has acted as a cultural surrogate for the weak executive authority of international law, naturalizing the assumptions and conditions that make human rights appear commonsensical. As a kind of novelistic correlative to human rights law, the Bildungsroman has thus been doing some of the sociocultural work of enforcement that the law cannot do for itself. This analysis of the cultural work of law and of the social work of literature challenges traditional Eurocentric histories of both international law and the dissemination of the novel. Taking his point of departure in Goethe's Wilhelm Meister, Slaughter focuses on recent postcolonial versions of the coming-of-age story to show how the promise of human rights becomes legible in narrative and how the novel and the law are complicit in contemporary projects of globalization: in colonialism, neoimperalism, humanitarianism, and the spread of multinational consumer capitalism.Slaughter raises important practical and ethical questions that we must confront in advocating for human rights and reading world literature-imperatives that, today more than ever, are intertwined.

Women S Human Rights And Migration

Author: Sital Kalantry
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 081224933X
Size: 65.14 MB
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In Women's Human Rights and Migration, Sital Kalantry examines the laws to ban sex-selective abortion in the United States and India to argue for a transnational feminist legal approach to evaluating prohibitions on the practices of immigrant women that raise human rights concerns.

Indivisible Human Rights

Author: Daniel J. Whelan
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812205405
Size: 51.73 MB
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Human rights activists frequently claim that human rights are indivisible, and the United Nations has declared the indivisibility, interdependency, and interrelatedness of these rights to be beyond dispute. Yet in practice a significant divide remains between the two grand categories of human rights: civil and political rights, on the one hand, and economic, social, and cultural rights on the other. To date, few scholars have critically examined how the notion of indivisibility has shaped the complex relationship between these two sets of rights. In Indivisible Human Rights, Daniel J. Whelan offers a carefully crafted account of the rhetoric of indivisibility. Whelan traces the political and historical development of the concept, which originated in the contentious debates surrounding the translation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into binding treaty law as two separate Covenants on Human Rights. In the 1960s and 1970s, Whelan demonstrates, postcolonial states employed a revisionist rhetoric of indivisibility to elevate economic and social rights over civil and political rights, eventually resulting in the declaration of a right to development. By the 1990s, the rhetoric of indivisibility had shifted to emphasize restoration of the fundamental unity of human rights and reaffirm the obligation of states to uphold both major human rights categories—thus opening the door to charges of violations resulting from underdevelopment and poverty. As Indivisible Human Rights illustrates, the rhetoric of indivisibility has frequently been used to further political ends that have little to do with promoting the rights of the individual. Drawing on scores of original documents, many of them long forgotten, Whelan lets the players in this drama speak for themselves, revealing the conflicts and compromises behind a half century of human rights discourse. Indivisible Human Rights will be welcomed by scholars and practitioners seeking a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding the realization of human rights.

The United Nations Human Rights Council

Author: Rosa Freedman
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135115141
Size: 34.44 MB
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The United Nations Human Rights Council was created in 2006 to replace the UN Commission on Human Rights. The Council’s mandate and founding principles demonstrate that one of the main aims, at its creation, was for the Council to overcome the Commission’s flaws. Despite the need to avoid repeating its predecessor's failings, the Council’s form, nature and many of its roles and functions are strikingly similar to those of the Commission. This book examines the creation and formative years of the United Nations Human Rights Council and assesses the extent to which the Council has fulfilled its mandate. International law and theories of international relations are used to examine the Council and its functions. Council sessions, procedures and mechanisms are analysed in-depth, with particular consideration given to whether the Council has become politicised to the same extent as the Commission. Whilst remaining aware of the key differences in their functions, Rosa Freedman compares the work of the Council to that of treaty-based human rights bodies. The author draws on observations from her attendance at Council proceedings in order to offer a unique account of how the body works in practice. The United Nations Human Rights Council will be of great interest to students and scholars of human rights law and international relations, as well as lawyers, NGOs and relevant government agencies.