This book provides a detailed analysis of South Africa’s actions on the UN Human Rights Council, examining the country’s positions on civil and political rights, economic rights and development, social groups whose rights are frequently violated as well as abuses in specific countries.
The most detailed and comprehensive study of any country’s record on the UN Human Rights Council to date, it demonstrates that despite occasional support for human rights, South Africa’s overall record ranged from opposing to failing to support human rights. This is compounded by an anti-Western or ‘anti-imperial’ edge to South Africa’s positions on the HRC. Using South Africa as a study case of a liberal country consistently behaving illiberally, it therefore challenges the widespread belief in international relations theory, typically found in liberal and constructivist thought, that there is an alignment of domestic political society and foreign policy values.
Addressing ongoing debates since the presidency of Nelson Mandela about the place of human rights in South Africa’s foreign policy, South Africa and the UN Human Rights Council will be useful to students and scholars of international relations, human rights, international law and African politics.
1. South Africa, liberal order and the future of human rights
2. The West, liberal order, and human rights
3. Country-specific human rights situations
4. The Universal Periodic Review
5. Civil and political rights
6. Gender, race, and sexual orientation
7. Economic rights and the right to development