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Overview

In this landmark volume, Alison Brysk has assembled an impressive array of scholars to address new questions about globalization and human rights. Is globalization generating both problems and opportunities? Are new problems replacing or intensifying state repression? How effective are new forms of human rights accountability?

These essays include theoretical analyses by Richard Falk, Jack Donnelly, and James Rosenau. Chapters on sex tourism, international markets, and communications technology bring new perspectives to emerging issues. The authors investigate places such as the Dominican Republic, Nigeria, and the Philippines.

The contemporary world is defined by globalization. While global human rights standards and institutions have been established, assaults on human dignity continue. These essays identify the new challenges to be faced, and suggest new ways to remedy the costs of globalization.

Author Biography: Alison Brysk is Associate Professor of International Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Her previous publications include The Politics of Human Rights in Argentina: Protest, Change, and Democratization (1994) and From Tribal Village to Global Village: Indian Rights and International Relations in Latin America (2000).

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Editorial Reviews

David P. Forsythe
A useful examination of an important subject. This work adds important insights into human rights and globalization, a subject that is sure to remain at the center of debate for a considerable time.
Kathryn Sikkink
Brysk and her collaborators have produced the most systematic and comprehensive study to date of globalization and human rights. The authors move the debate forward by mapping out the impact of diverse forms of globalization on different types of rights, concluding that globalization can both exploit and empower, depending on the form of globalization and the type of state.
Foreign Affairs
The most systematic attempt yet to untangle the often contradictory impacts of globalization on human rights. Transnational integration and increased mobility can simultaneously strengthen and diminish the protection of individual rights and the dignity of individuals. Globalized markets have facilitated more monitoring of social conditions but have also opened up more opportunities for economic exploitation. At the same time, information flows have emboldened human rights campaigns and fostered transnational activist networks. Among the more intriguing contributions: Kristen Hill Maher shows that transnational migration tends to undercut human rights by creating vulnerable noncitizen populations; Richard Falk argues that globalization "from above" is eroding worker rights and social protections, but globalization "from below" is creating an emergent global civil society, and Wayne Sandholtz argues that global society is creating new rules that allow forcible intervention to stop gross violations of basic rights. Most of the essays suggest that remedies for the threats and abuses of globalization require stronger global institutions. Less attention is focused on strengthening the state itself — even though that formula remains fundamental to the provision and protection of human rights.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520232389
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 321
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Alison Brysk is Associate Professor of
International Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Her previous publications include The Politics of Human Rights in Argentina: Protest, Change, and Democratization (1994) and From Tribal Village to Global Village:
Indian Rights and
International Relations in Latin America
(2000).

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Read an Excerpt

Globalization and Human Rights


By Alison Brysk

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS

Copyright © 2002 The Regents of the University of California
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-520-93628-7



CHAPTER 1

Who Has a Right to Rights?

Citizenship's Exclusions in an Age of Migration

Kristen Hill Maher


Transnational migration—or the flow of "bodies across borders"—presents a range of potential threats to human rights. The most politicized and visible among these threats are those posed to migrants by exploitative trafficking networks that profit from migrants' vulnerabilities, coercing them into circumstances that include life-threatening dangers, slave-labor conditions, or forced prostitution. These circumstances violate migrants' most fundamental rights and certainly deserve international attention. However, globalizing processes have also produced less visible but more numerous rights vulnerabilities among migrants who live as noncitizen residents in foreign states. Noncitizen populations pose a quandary for the administration of human rights because human rights norms have generally been enacted within the nation-state system and administered as the rights of citizens. That is, while the human rights regime is international, its greatest influence has been to establish standards for states' obligations vis-à-vis their own citizenries. Hence, even in Western states that are vocal champions of human rights, policymakers debate the extent to which they are responsible for protecting the full range of human rights for noncitizen migrants, particularly migrants lacking state authorization.

In the United States—the primary case examined in this chapter—policies and practices toward noncitizens often fail to uphold international human rights standards as outlined in the Universal Declaration or in later conventions regarding the rights of migrants. Human rights organizations have documented violations at the hand of Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and Border Patrol agents such as the excessive use of force (at times resulting in death), sexual abuse, and the denial of food and water. In the past several years, the Border Patrol has become much more careful about its public image, but it continues to adopt enforcement strategies that place border-crossing migrants at risk. For instance, San Diego's Operation Gatekeeper has adopted a conscious strategy of channeling crossing attempts east of the city, where apprehensions are easier but the terrain and weather conditions are much more dangerous. Following the implementation of this strategy, hundreds of migrants have died during border crossing from heat exposure, cold exposure, drowning, and dehydration. While the Border Patrol is less directly culpable for these deaths than in circumstances of violent confrontation, the current enforcement policy clearly prioritizes successful border control over the lives of migrants. Nonstate actors have reproduced these priorities in self-appointed citizen patrols that "arrest" migrants in border regions in confrontations that have sometimes turned violent, such as in the May 2000 Arizona incident in which ranchers on horseback shot at undocumented migrants with high-powered rifles.

Noncitizen migrants in the United States are also vulnerable to violations of political and social rights. Most prevalent among these are the violations of labor rights that regularly occur, with state agencies either cooperating or failing to intervene. There is ample evidence of employers who use threats of reporting workers to the INS in order to preempt organized demands, who report undocumented workers in retaliation for refusals to accept poor working conditions, or who call the INS to collect workers once production or harvest demands end (e.g., Bacon 1999: 161, 165; Calavita 1992). While individual workers hypothetically have the right to legally challenge unpaid salaries, poor working conditions, or abuses at the workplace, few have the resources to do so, and those who are undocumented risk not only the loss of a job but also deportation once they bring their plight to the attention of the courts. The relative priority of labor law in relation to immigration law has been ambiguous and often subordinated in practice.

Recent policies have also left open potential for rights violations in deportation, detention, and asylum procedures. Two acts passed in 1996—the Anti-Terrorism Act and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA)—struck a blow against the right of appeal in summary deportations of undocumented immigrants, a particular concern for those claiming asylum. The current expedited review process risks violating the international human rights principle of non-refoulement, as it undercuts asylum-seekers' capacity to demonstrate their credible fear of persecution upon return (Langenfeld 1999). The IIRAIRA also included a very controversial statute broadening the definition of a deportable crime, which has resulted in the deportations of even naturalized citizens who were earlier convicted of crimes that now constitute deportable offenses. In cases in which a return to the country of origin is not possible, such as to Cuba or Vietnam, these "criminal aliens" face indefinite detention, in violation of due process rights.

While the above policy shifts might be perceived to be anti-immigration in orientation, much of the policy in the 1990s would more fairly be represented as anti-immigrant, focused on limiting immigrants' rights (Jonas 1999: viii). California's infamous Proposition 187, which would have denied undocumented migrants access to even primary education or health care, represents the kinds of issues that continue to be debated at a national level. Should noncitizen immigrants have the same rights as citizens to Medicaid, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), food stamps, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), educational loans and grants, unemployment compensation, or housing assistance? The policy response to date has been mixed, but there has been movement in the direction of denying all noncitizens social services, as in the case of the 1996 federal welfare reform (H.R. 3734), which made most noncitizens ineligible for most forms of assistance. Additionally, there have been recurring proposals to limit the access of the undocumented to citizenship (and hence to the economic and political benefits of citizenship), for instance, by changing the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution in order to eliminate birthright citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants.

What we see in these examples is a political culture in which universal personhood continues to be subordinated to citizenship as a basis for rights. That is, the violations and vulnerabilities of migrant rights enumerated in these examples can all be understood as extensions of a cultural logic in which even human rights are framed as entitlements exclusive to citizens. My analysis suggests that popular and political discourse in this context conceptualizes citizenship less in objective terms (as a legal status) than as a relational identity defined in opposition to "aliens," particularly in reference to labor migrants from less developed states. This constructed opposition—positioning migrants as lacking a legitimate claim to rights—has two dimensions, which I address below. The first dimension of the citizen-alien opposition rests on logics grounded in liberal notions of contract and property that position migrants as criminals, trespassers, and usurpers who have forfeited claims to rights by virtue of individual breaches of contract or law. The second reflects a neocolonial logic that legitimates differential claims to rights in accordance with an individual's position in a racialized international division of labor, equating the privileges that accompany First World status with a greater entitlement to rights.

These oppositions between citizens and aliens pose obstacles for migrants' claims to rights based on universal personhood, even within a state that formally supports international human rights norms. The nature of these obstacles is largely cultural—that is, they have to do with how rights, citizenship, and belonging are popularly conceived, and how popular conceptions shape policy and law. In making this claim, I am assuming a close connection between public policy and the hegemonic norms of political culture in civil society. This linkage is most overt in policies enacted through popular referenda, such as California's Proposition 187. However, it also exists in policy enacted through the legislative process, insofar as cultural norms limit what policymakers find imaginable and politically feasible. Cultural norms and constructions also undergird arguments in policy debates and inform the assumptions made about population groups (cf. Ingram and Schneider 1997; Stone 1997).

While this essay is written in a primarily theoretical mode, its argument is informed by empirical studies conducted in Europe and the United States, as well as by my own research on immigrant labor in southern California. It begins by reviewing why there has been so much recent migration into industrialized states and what consequences this migration has had for conceptions of membership and rights. It then elaborates how liberal and neocolonial logics are commonly used in U.S. political culture (and particularly in the Southwest) to frame citizenship in opposition to the migrant "alien" in ways that have consequences for migrants' claims to rights.


MIGRATION TRENDS AND MIGRANT RIGHTS IN INDUSTRIALIZED WESTERN STATES

Industrialized states have all experienced growth in immigration in the past twenty years, particularly from less developed regions. In the United States, immigration levels in the 1990s have been higher in proportion to its population than in any other period besides the turn of the century; in raw numbers, current immigration flows are the largest in history (Castles and Miller 1998). Why is this migration occurring? Many residents and policymakers of immigrant-receiving states share a common misperception that migration flows are the "rational" consequence of inequalities of wealth between states, that endless numbers of people from poor regions are clamoring to enter richer economies. The migration literature largely debunks this perception as a myth, explaining migration patterns as systemic rather than the product of individual aspirations for greater prosperity.

Most generally, this literature asserts that migrations are patterned rather than random flows of people from poverty to wealth. They occur within relatively predictable geographies, they are limited in their scope and endurance, and they are often stimulated by established relationships between the sending and receiving states, such as quasi-colonial bonds or a history of active labor recruitment (Sassen 1999; Castles and Miller 1998). In a globalizing economy, migration to industrialized states is also spurred by economic links formed through international investment and production. As borders open to flows of goods, services, information, and capital, there will also be cross-border movement of labor (Sassen 1996, 1988).

Finally, contemporary migration patterns reflect a shift in the structure of economies in receiving states. Given the turn from Fordist to post-Fordist production and toward flexible accumulation (Harvey 1989), industrialized economies have developed labor markets that have a shrinking number of primary sector jobs and a growing number of informal, part-time, or minimum wage jobs. The latter jobs—whether in the service sector, agricultural production and processing, construction, or high tech manufacturing—are increasingly performed by immigrant or migrant workers. This pattern exists not only in traditional countries of immigration, such as Canada, the United States, and Australia, but also in states that claim no significant history of immigration. A recent comparative study of immigrant labor in San Diego, California, and Hamamatsu, Japan, found that both economies have come to incorporate significant numbers of immigrant workers and exhibit similar patterns in the kinds of jobs in which immigrants predominate (Cornelius 1998).

What these trends indicate is that immigrant or migrant labor from less-developed states is becoming structurally embedded in the economies of industrialized states. Additionally, once immigrants predominate in given job categories, these jobs tend to become perceived as "immigrant jobs" (cf. Cornelius 1998; Ortiz 1996; Hossfeld 1988), or even as jobs only fit for immigrants, such that a division of labor that depends upon immigrant labor also is socially or culturally reinforced (Maher 1999). For all these reasons, migration into industrialized states does not appear to constitute a temporary or random flow easily stanched through stricter border regulation. Rather, it is an indelible part of the new political geography in a globalizing economy.

This migration poses serious challenges to the international nation-state system and to a state-centered administration of rights. The nation-state system presumes the territorial basis of each citizen community (Malkki 1994), the "national" basis of the citizenry (Anderson 1991), mutually exclusive political memberships (Brubaker 1989), and legal equality among all community residents (Fiss 1999). In contrast, international migration creates deterritorialized, transnational communities (Basch et al. 1994; Rouse 1995; Appadurai 1990), dual citizens with multiple political memberships (Hammar 1990), ethnically or "nationally" diverse populations, and internal distinctions in terms of legal statuses and rights (Bauböck 1991, 1994). In regard to this last effect of migration, consider the range of possible legal statuses, which include native-born citizens; naturalized citizens; permanent residents (or "denizens"); temporary residents, such as students or short-term workers; guests, such as tourists; and undocumented residents who have overstayed a short-term visa or entered the country without authorization. These multiple statuses are accompanied by differences in state-defined rights that, over time, can serve as the basis for a "class" or castelike social structure (Fiss 1998, 1999).

The inequalities in rights between residents of democracies has been identified as particularly problematic in countries like Germany, which until recently has made full citizenship status largely inaccessible to large numbers of Turkish guest workers, even through the third generation of their residence in the territorial state, given a definition of membership based on "blood" or heritage (Brubaker 1998). But even when there is relative institutional openness to mobility between statuses, as there is in the United States, transnational migration and the remaining institutional regulations produce social and legal inequalities between those of different legal statuses in relation to the state. While there is hypothetical mobility at the individual level, at a collective level, the residential community in the United States at any given point in time incorporates groups with differing rights and social stature, differences understood as ensuing from different legal statuses.

One political and scholarly response to migration's challenges to the administration of rights has been to turn to international law to establish and protect a more equal and universal basis for rights than membership of the territorial nation-state. At the end of World War II, international law regarding the rights of migrants focused primarily on refugees and rights to asylum. However, after widespread foreign labor recruitment to Europe and North America during the 1950s and 1960s and a rising swell of anti-immigrant sentiment since the 1970s, labor migrants have also become the focus of a series of international charters establishing a growing range of rights. The International Labor Office (ILO) Conventions of 1949 and 1975 provided for nondiscrimination in employment and some degree of cultural autonomy for migrants within the contracting states. United Nations charters such as the UNESCO Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice (1978) and the UN convention on the Protection of Rights of All Migrant Workers and Their Families (1990) collectively address a considerable range of economic, civil, and social rights of individuals as well as the cultural rights of migrant groups, such that migrants now claim rights to "employment, education, health care, nourishment, and housing [as well as] [t]he collective rights of nations and peoples to culture, language, and development" (Soysal 1994: 157).


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Globalization and Human Rights by Alison Brysk. Copyright © 2002 The Regents of the University of California. Excerpted by permission of UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Transnational Threats and Opportunities 1
1 Who Has a Right to Rights? Citizenship's Exclusions in an Age of Migration 19
2 Tourism, Sex Work, and Women's Rights in the Dominican Republic 44
3 Interpreting the Interaction of Global Markets and Human Rights 61
4 Economic Globalization and Rights: An Empirical Analysis 77
5 Sweatshops and International Labor Standards: Globalizing Markets, Localizing Norms 98
6 The Ironies of Information Technology 115
7 Globalization and the Social Construction of Human Rights Campaigns 133
8 The Drama of Human Rights in a Turbulent, Globalized World 148
9 Transnational Civil Society Campaigns and the World Bank Inspection Panel 171
10 Humanitarian Intervention: Global Enforcement of Human Rights? 201
11 Human Rights, Globalizing Flows, and State Power 226
Conclusion: From Rights to Realities 242
Works Cited 257
Contributors 301
Index 303
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First Chapter

Globalization and Human Rights


The University of California Press

Copyright © 2002 Regents of the University of California
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-520-23238-0


Introduction

Transnational Threats and Opportunities

Alison Brysk

Globalization-the growing interpenetration of states, markets, communications, and ideas across borders-is one of the leading characteristics of the contemporary world. International norms and institutions for the protection of human rights are more developed than at any previous point in history, while global civil society fosters growing avenues of appeal for citizens repressed by their own states. But assaults on fundamental human dignity continue, and the very blurring of borders and rise of transnational actors that facilitated the development of a global human rights regime may also be generating new sources of human rights abuse. Even as they are more broadly articulated and accepted, the rights of individuals have come to depend ever more on a broad array of global actors and forces, from ministries to multinationals to missionaries.

What are the patterns of the human rights impact of globalization? Are new problems replacing, intensifying, or mitigating state-sponsored repression? Are some dynamics of globalization generating both problems and opportunities? How can new opportunities be used to offset new problems? And how has the idea and practice of human rights influenced the process ofglobalization?

How does globalization-which liberals claim will promote development, democracy, personal empowerment, and global governance-instead present new challenges for human rights? Globalization is a package of transnational flows of people, production, investment, information, ideas, and authority (not new, but stronger and faster). Human rights are a set of claims and entitlements to human dignity, which the existing international regime assumes will be provided (or threatened) by the state. A more cosmopolitan and open international system should free individuals to pursue their rights, but large numbers of people seem to be suffering from both long-standing state repression and new denials of rights linked to transnational forces. The essays in this volume show that the challenge of globalization is that unaccountable flows of migration and open markets present new threats, which are not amenable to state-based human rights regimes, while the new opportunities of global information and institutions are insufficiently accessible and distorted by persistent state intervention.

The emergence of an "international regime" for human rights (Donnelly 1986), growing transnational social movement networks, increasing consciousness (Willetts 1996), and information politics have the potential to address both traditional and emerging forms of human rights violations. The United Nations has supervised human rights reform in El Salvador, Cambodia, and Haiti, while creating a new high commissioner for human rights. The first international tribunals since Nuremberg are prosecuting genocide in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Transnational legal accountability (Stephens and Ratner 1996) and humanitarian intervention promote universal norms and link them to the enforcement power of states. Thousands of nongovernmental organizations monitor and lobby for human rights from Tibet to East Timor (Boli and Thomas 1999). Alongside principled proponents such as Amnesty International, globalization has generated new forms of advocacy such as transnational professional networks (Doctors without Borders), global groups for conflict monitoring, and coalitions across transnational issues (Sierra Club-Amnesty International). New forms of communication allow victims to videotape their plight, advocates to flood governments with faxes, Web sites to mobilize urgent action alerts. But the effectiveness of global consciousness and pressure on the states, paramilitaries, and insurgents responsible for long-standing human rights violations varies tremendously. And access to the new global mechanisms is distributed unevenly, so that some of the neediest victims-such as the illiterate rural poor and refugee women-are the least likely to receive either global or domestic redress.

Beyond this interaction of new solutions with old problems, new human rights problems may result from the integration of markets, the shrinking of states, increased transnational flows such as migration, the spread of cultures of intolerance, and the decision-making processes of new or growing global institutions (Kofman and Youngs 1996; Mittelman 1996; Held 2000). The increasing presence of multinational corporations has challenged labor rights throughout Southeast Asia, along the Mexican border, and beyond. Increasing levels of migration worldwide make growing numbers of refugees and undocumented laborers vulnerable to abuse by sending and receiving states, as well as transnational criminal networks. Hundreds of Mexican nationals die each year crossing the U.S. border; in contrast, 450 German migrants were killed during forty years of Europeans crossing the Berlin Wall. International economic adjustment and the growth of tourism are linked to a rise in prostitution and trafficking in women and children, affecting millions in the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, the post-Soviet states and even the United States. The U.S. State Department estimates that one to two million persons each year are trafficked for various forms of forced labor and "modern-day slavery"-including almost 50,000 annually to the United States (Richard 1999). The same Internet that empowers human rights activists increases government monitoring, instructs neo-Nazis, and carries transnational death threats against dissenters. Unelected global institutions like the World Bank, international peacekeepers, and environmental NGOs administering protected areas increasingly control the lives of the most powerless citizens of weak states.

In this volume, we attempt to map new territory, bring together diverse perspectives, challenge conventional wisdom, and begin to cumulate research to address these questions and contradictions. Our aim is not to introduce a new theory of globalization, but rather to identify generalizable patterns from diverse developments. In order to make sense of these developments, we must first consider the general trends of human rights and globalization. Then we can map patterns in the globalized development of human rights threats and opportunities.

Human Rights in a Global Arena

Human rights are a set of universal claims to safeguard human dignity from illegitimate coercion, typically enacted by state agents. These norms are codified in a widely endorsed set of international undertakings: the "International Bill of Human Rights" (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and International Covenant on Social and Economic Rights); phenomenon-specific treaties on war crimes (Geneva Conventions), genocide, and torture; and protections for vulnerable groups such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. International dialogue on human rights has produced a distinction between three "generations" of human rights, labeled for their historical emergence. Security rights encompass life, bodily integrity, liberty, and sometimes associated rights of political participation and democratic governance. Social and economic rights, highlighted in the eponymous International Covenant, comprise both negative and positive freedoms, enacted by states and others: prominently, rights to food, health care, education, and free labor. More recently discussed collective rights may include rights such as membership in a cultural community and access to a healthy environment (Chris Brown 1997). These "generations" of rights often involve different sets of actors and different levels of state accountability.

While the origins of the international human rights regime, U.S. foreign policy, NGO monitoring, and much previous scholarship have focused on security rights, this project will entertain a broader conception of linked political, social, and cultural rights grounded in the Universal Declaration. A focus on security rights may be desirable for clarity and manageability, as well as because security rights of life and freedom are "basic" or enabling rights that make the pursuit of other rights possible (Shue 1980). However, human rights claims have an inherently expanding character, which requires the consideration of every type of threat to human dignity under a range of changing social conditions. Thus, both liberty and survival may involve social issues, such as the right to free labor and to organize for better labor conditions. Some vulnerable groups, notably women and indigenous peoples, may face linked threats that emanate from public and private actors, and seek cultural freedoms to meaningfully participate in civic life. Furthermore, the very process of globalization blurs distinctions among categories of rights: humanitarian intervention seeks to rescue ethnic groups, women working as prostitutes are beaten by police for "bothering tourists" to feed their children, and rights to privacy and expression collide on the Internet (also see McCorquodale and Fairbrother 1999). In this volume, these linked rights can be delineated by granting priority to those rights that enable others and those violations that present the greatest harm to victims.

Human rights values derive from and are justified by reference to philosophical constructions of human nature, cultural and religious traditions, demands from civil society, and international influence. In practical importance, the latter two political factors are the most important source of human rights in the contemporary world (Perry 1998; Montgomery 1998). Accordingly, despite frequent violations in practice, international consensus has implanted human rights as a nearly universal vocabulary of debate, aspiration, and civic challenges to state legitimacy.

Analysts of human rights have identified a variety of psychological, social, economic, and political patterns that put societies "at risk" of human rights violations. These generally include authoritarian government, civil war, strong ethnic cleavages, weak civil society, power vacuums, critical junctures in economic development, and military dominance (Mitchell and McCormick 1988; Haas 1994; Donnelly 1998b). Above all, the study of human rights teaches us that human rights violations usually reflect a calculated (or manipulated) pursuit of political power, not inherent evil or ungovernable passions (Gurr 1984; Human Rights Watch 1995b). One of our first tasks is to analyze the effect of globalization on these risk factors.

The effect of globalization on state-based human rights violations will depend on the type of state and its history. In newly democratizing countries with weak institutions and elite-controlled economies (Russia, Latin America, Southeast Asia), the growth of global markets and economic flows tends to destabilize coercive forces but increase crime, police abuse, and corruption. Global mobility and information flows generally stimulate ethnic mobilization, which may promote self-determination in responsive states but more often produces collective abuses in defense of dominant-group hegemony. On the other hand, the same forces have produced slow institutional openings by less fragmented single-party states (like China and Mexico). In much of Africa, globalization has ironically increased power vacuums, by both empowering substate challengers and providing sporadic intervention, which displaces old regimes without consolidating new ones. Some of the most horrifying abuses of all have occurred in the transnationalized, Hobbesian civil wars of Sierra Leone, Angola, and the Congo.

But the literature on human rights has also moved beyond the conventional wisdom that situated human rights violations and remediation predominantly within the state, to suggest ways in which globalization creates new opportunities to challenge the state "from above and below" (Brysk 1993; Risse et al. 1999). Human rights research has produced both evidence of new capabilities for monitoring, pressure, and sanctions (Alston and Steiner 1996; Keck and Sikkink 1998), along with reports of new types and venues of abuse (Human Rights Watch 1996; Fields 1998; Rickard 1998; Peters and Wolper 1995). In general, analysts of globalization find that states' international integration improves security rights, but increases inequality and threatens the social rights of citizens (Crossette 2000; Milner 1998). However, neither economic development nor economic growth in and of themselves improve human rights performance (Montgomery 1998: 325; Amartya Sen 1999; Tan 1999). In addition to globalization and growth, findings on the effectiveness of international pressure on state human rights policy suggest that target states must be structurally accessible, internationally sensitive, and contain local human rights activists for linkage (Burgerman 1998; Sikkink 1993).

There is little systematic evidence available on the overall human rights impact of global flows and actors, and that which does exist is often contradictory. For example, quantitative studies that demonstrate improved security rights where MNCs (multinational corporations) are present (Meyer 1998) contrast with case studies documenting multinational reinforcement of state coercion and labor suppression (Arregui 1996; Ho et al. 1996). Other scholars suggest that the impact of multinationals depends more on their type of production, customer base, or sending country than their globalizing nature (Spar 1998). Similarly, some studies indicate that even within "economic globalization," different types of global economic flows at different times will have different impacts on democracy and human rights (for example, for Li and Reuveny 2000, trade is negative but foreign direct investment is positive). There is some basis for believing that new global human rights mechanisms, such as transnational NGO campaigns, may be particularly effective against transnational actors like multinationals. Analysts argue that transnational human rights threats can be most easily met by transnational human rights campaigns, since it is easier to access transnational actors than repressive states, transnationals cannot cloak their abuses in sovereignty rationales, global elites are increasingly amenable to "rights talk," and global civil society can provide local linkages for transnational networks (Rodman 1998; Brysk 2000a). The research in this volume suggests that the human rights impact of globalization depends on three types of factors: the type of globalization involved, the level of analysis addressed, and the type of state that is filtering globalizing flows.

Continues...


Excerpted from Globalization and Human Rights Copyright © 2002 by Regents of the University of California. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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