Human Rights in the World Community: Issues and Action / Edition 3

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Specifically designed for educational use by international relations, law, and political and social science classes, Human Rights in the World Community treats the full range of human rights issues, including implementation problems and processes involving international, national, and nongovernmental action. This new edition reflects the global, large-scale change that has occurred in the field of human rights, and features an extensive bibliography and filmography.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for the second edition:
"Excellent articles and introductory commentary on the theory and practice of human rights and the remedies of wrongs."—David Carliner, Journal of Human Rights

"What makes the Claude-Weston text so welcome an addition to the fairly limited human rights teaching resources is that it approaches the emerging problems and issues in a very contemporary way. . . . In addition to being well researched and organized, the text uses an especially effective system for presenting each topic area. An overview introduces the reader to the relevant issues and highlights the types of questions and concerns to be kept in mind. A series of narrative analyses follows, raising the major problems to be discussed. It must be considered the most thought-provoking, comprehensive and contemporary of the teaching materials now available."—American Journal of International Law

"A broad and thoughtful introduction to the field of human rights. . . . The editors have forged a well-structured tool for enhancing human rights education."—Harvard Human Rights Journal

"Nicely supplements other available material without duplicating it, and the editors raise many of the most important questions that ought to be discussed in human rights courses."—Human Rights Quarterly

"A challenging and valuable contribution for all readers interested in expanding their knowledge of the current, and even future, issues in human rights."—International Law and Comparative Law Quarterly

"Claude and Weston have prepared the definitive textbook on human rights. The book's annotated filmography and thoughtful questions for discussion after each of the 33 readings make it a unique resource for educators. I highly recommend it."—Eric Stover, University of California, Berkeley

A reprint of the 1988 original. Now in need of revision. Acidic paper. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812219487
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/25/2006
  • Series: Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 568
  • Sales rank: 606,740
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Pierre Claude is Professor Emeritus of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is founding editor of Human Rights Quarterly and author of many books, including Science in the Service of Human Rights, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press. Burns H. Weston is Bessie Dutton Murray Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus and Senior Scholar, Center for Human Rights, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, and Vermont Law School Visiting Distinguished Professor of International Law and Policy.

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Read an Excerpt


This is the third edition of Human Rights in the World Community: Issues and Action. Since its first publication in 1989, students of human rights have witnessed in every hemisphere and on every continent a large array of states undertaking reform, becoming "emerging" or "re-emerging" democracies, and proclaiming support for the promotion and protection of international human rights. The second edition, published in 1992 soon after the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, reflected a post-Cold War aspiration, widely shared, to displace the sterile ideological posturing of superpower rivalry with a lively and constructive global human rights culture. This hope was manifest at the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna in 1993. Among other things, the Conference called "on all States and institutions to include human rights, humanitarian law, democracy and rule of law as subjects in the curricula of all learning institutions in formal and non-formal settings."

This third and wholly revised edition is intended to facilitate human rights education and to do so in support of the international resolves that were voiced in the 2000 "Millennium Declaration" whereby member states of the United Nations said they would spare no effort to promote democracy and strengthen the rule of law, as well as respect for internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms. Since then, small networks of non state actors organized as terrorists have made even the most powerful states feel vulnerable, tempting some to surmise that countering terrorism should displace human rights as a priority on the global agenda. Moreover, within only five years after the Millennium Declaration, over 40 countries, by UN accounts, have been scarred by violent conflict. Challenges to human rights worldwide have featured wars, genocides, crimes against humanity, and reports of torture attributable to every country, including the United Kingdom and the United States, two countries that have long espoused the world rule of law. These deadly assaults on the roots of civilization and budding prospects for a humane world order tell us that it is time to relearn the message of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): the global struggle for justice undertaken through peaceful means centrally includes everyone working for the recognition and implementation of human rights as the fundamental foundation of world peace.

In 2005, in a report entitled "In Larger Freedom," United Nations Secretary General Kofi Anan, taking both challenges and opportunities into account, sought to set a direction for our time:

We have it in our power to pass on to our children a brighter inheritance than that bequeathed to any previous generation. We can halve global poverty and halt the spread of major known diseases in the next 10 years. We can reduce the prevalence of violent conflict and terrorism. We can increase respect for human dignity in every land. And we can forge a set of updated international institutions to help humanity achieve these noble goals. If we act boldly—and if we act together—we can make people everywhere more secure, more prosperous and better able to enjoy their fundamental human rights.

The time is now to take these words seriously, and one important—indeed paramount—way to do so is to encourage and facilitate human rights education on a widespread basis. Recognizing that bequeathing a bright inheritance to future generations is in significant measure done through education, the UN General Assembly, with help from UNESCO and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), thus has called for the development, beginning in 2006, of a "World Programme of Human Rights Education." Included is the development of appropriate texts and teaching materials—plowshares essential for tilling the groundwork of peace through justice.

This book brings such human rights materials together in one place for classroom use in many disciplines, including but not limited to political science, international law and relations, history, sociology, philosophy, religion, and of course education itself. Relying upon a broad distinction between issues associated with international human rights problems and action that seeks to implement human rights norms and standards, each of eight chapters contain essays by leading scholars and activists, preceded by an editors' introduction designed to orient the reader in the larger context within which the essays fit. To save on limited space, we have abridged most of the essays substantially; and to facilitate ease of use as well as save space, we have largely dispensed with ellipses and bracketed editorializing and footnotes. In all instances, however, we have remained otherwise faithful to the original language and intent of each author, and indeed rely on that language and intent to formulate "Questions for Reflection and Discussion" following each of the essays—questions that we hope will be helpful in analyzing the essays, in prodding new thinking, and in stimulating fresh research beyond the scope of the existing literature. They have been devised, too, with the general reader as well as the classroom student in mind. We hope the book will be of interest to the general reading public as well.

At the end of the book is a human rights bibliography that emphasizes relatively recent publications as well as selected "classics" in the field. On the theory that human rights are made tangible by eyewitness experience, an annotated filmography following the bibliography is set out also. Films are an important teaching device in our television age when, by way of international satellite hook-ups, TV brings into our homes broadcasts of "Live Aid" in response to hunger in Africa, superpower officials debating Middle East issues in geographically distant settings, and top performers (e.g., "U2" from Great Britain and the "Jazz Group" from Czechoslovakia) rallying support for international human rights. One way or another, we all have become eyewitnesses to human rights problems. Because the promotion and protection of human rights depends on everyone, the reader should familiarize herself or himself with the many NGO and other groups that serve human rights causes. They are easy to join and need the help of new members.

Human rights do not represent an abstract field of study. This is a field of work and way of life. It requires everyone's commitment, effort, and support. Thankfully we do not have to begin from scratch. The United Nations took the first step with the Universal Declaration in 1948, formulating internationally defined norms to which all states and peoples could commit. These standards form the basis on which the study of human rights is rooted. Hence, this volume concludes with two documentary appendices. The first (Documentary Appendix A) reprints and references the leading instruments known as the International Bill of Human Rights. The second (Documentary Appendix B) identifies both the original and primary digital references for the many human rights and human rights related instruments that, in addition to the International Bill of Human Rights, specify the doctrines, principles, and rules upon which the world seeks to build a community respectful of human dignity.

Of course, whether the world is up to the task of building a world community respectful of human dignity remains to be seen. That it should try to do so, however, is imperative and beyond debate. A credible case for this view can be made by those who have seen its opposite. An Argentine judge who served on the court that convicted military rulers in his country for human rights violations between 1976 and 1983 has argued that it is time to view human rights from a global perspective. According to Justice Judge Antonio Bacqué:

It has become obvious that technological idiocy, unbridled fanaticism and Realpolitik have pushed humanity, for the first time in its history, to the brink of a precipice where the mode and conditions of life are at risk. This danger may be averted only by paying unconditional respect to human dignity.

We agree.

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Table of Contents


1. Burns H. Weston, Human Rights: Concept and Content
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
2. Martha C. Nussbaum, Capabilities, Human Rights, and The Universal
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
3. Burns H. Weston, The Universality of Human Rights in a Multicultured
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
4. Rhoda Howard-Hassmann, The Second Great Transformation: Human
Rights Leapfrogging in the Era of Globalization
Questions for Reflection and Discussion

5. Diane Orentlicher, Genocide
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
6. Lisa Hajjar, Torture and the Future
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
7. Richard B. Lillich, Civil Rights
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
8. Rachel Neild, Human Rights and Crime
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
9. Paul Gordon Lauren, First Principles of Racial Equality
Questions For Reflection And Discussion
10. Eva Brems, Protecting the Rights of Women
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
11. Maryellen Fullerton, The International and National Protection of Refugees
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
12. Maivân Clech Lâm, Indigenous Peoples' Rights to Self-determination and Territoriality
Questions for Reflection and Discussion

13. Asbjorn Eide, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as Human Rights
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
14. Lee Swepston, Worker Rights are Human Rights
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
15. George Kent, Food Is A Human Right
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
16. Paul Hunt, The Right To Health: Key Objectives, Themes, and Interventions
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
17. Richard Pierre Claude, The Right To Education And Human Rights Education
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
18. Stephen A. Hansen, The Right To Take Part In Cultural Life
Questions for Reflection and Discussion

19. Hurst Hannum, The Right of Self-determination In The Twenty-first Century
Questions For Reflection And Discussion
20. Arjun Sengupta, The Right To Development
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
21. Luis E. Rodriguez-rivera, Is The Human Right To Environment
Recognized Under International Law?
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
22. Douglas Roche, Peace: A "Sacred Right"
Questions for Reflection and Discussion

23. Burns H. Weston, Human Rights: Prescription and Enforcement
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
24. Harold Hongju Koh, How Is International Human Rights Law Enforced?
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
25. Anne F. Bayefsky, Making The Human Rights Treaties Work
Questions for Reflection and Discussion

26. Steven P. Marks, The United Nations And Human Rights
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
27. Dinah Shelton, The Promise Of Regional Human Rights Systems Rights
Questions for Reflection and Discussion

28. Michael Ignatieff, No Exceptions? The United States' Pick-and-choose
Approach To Human Rights
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
29. Michael Ratner, Civil Remedies For Gross Human Rights Violations
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
30. Richard Falk, Humanitarian Intervention: Imperatives And Problematics
Questions for Reflection and Discussion

31. Richard Pierre Claude, What Do Human Rights NGOs Do?
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
32. Mahmood Monshipouri, Claude E. Welch, Jr., and Evan T. Kennedy,
Multinational Corporations and the Ethics of Global Responsibility
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
33. Jordan J. Paust, The Human Right To Revolution
Questions for Reflection and Discussion

Postscript Human Rights And Humane Governance

Documentary Appendix A: Select Instruments
Documentary Appendix A: Select References
Select Bibliography
Select Filmography

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