Human Rights in the World Community: Issues and Action

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The best analytical work of leading scholars and activists in the field of international human rights is presented in this expanded and extensively revised second edition. The volume is specifically designed for educational uses by international relations, law, and political and social science classes.
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Overview

The best analytical work of leading scholars and activists in the field of international human rights is presented in this expanded and extensively revised second edition. The volume is specifically designed for educational uses by international relations, law, and political and social science classes.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A reprint of the 1988 original. Now in need of revision. Acidic paper. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812213966
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/1992
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.02 (h) x 0.94 (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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Preface

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

Preface
Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 International Human Rights: Overviews 1
1 Human Rights 14
2 Theoretical Foundations of Human Rights 31
3 International Human Rights and Cultural Relativism 42
Issues
Ch. 2 Basic Decencies and Participatory Rights 57
4 The Sovereign Territorial State: The Right to Genocide 69
5 Torture as Policy 79
6 Civil Rights 90
7 Race, Sex, and Religious Discrimination in International Law 101
8 Refugees: A Never-Ending Story 114
9 Human Rights on the Periphery: No Room in the Ark for the Yanomami? 124
Ch. 3 Basic Human Needs, Security Rights, and Humane Governance 137
10 Human Rights in Liberal, Socialist, and Third World Perspective 146
11 Realization of Social and Economic Rights and the Minimum Threshold Approach 158
12 The Right of Development as a Human Right 167
13 Self-Determination as a Human Right 175
14 Planetary Rights 187
15 Peace as a Human Right 198
Action
Ch. 4 International Approaches to Implementation 215
16 The United Nations and Human Rights: More Than a Whimper, Less Than a Roar 227
17 Regional Human Rights Regimes: A Comparison and Appraisal 244
18 The Helsinki Process: Birth of a Human Rights System 256
19 Strategies for the International Protection of Human Rights in the 1990s 271
Ch. 5 National Approaches to Implementation 285
20 Human Rights and Foreign Policy 296
21 Humanitarian Intervention and American Foreign Policy: Law Morality, and Politics 307
22 Congress and Human Rights in U.S. Foreign Policy: The Fate of General Legislation 320
23 The Case of Joelito Filartiga in the Courts 328
24 The United States Commitment to International Human Rights 340
Ch. 6 Nongovernmental Organization, Corporate, and Individual Approaches to Implementation 359
25 Human Rights Nongovernmental Organizations 372
26 Scientists as Detectives: Investigating Human Rights 384
27 Multinational Corporations and Human Rights 392
28 "Looking and Thinking" About Human Rights and Revolution 401
Appendix: Selected Documents 413
United Nations Charter 413
Universal Declaration of Human Rights 419
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 424
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 432
Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 446
Contributors 449
Index 451
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