The essays selected for this volume, written by some of the world’s most respected experts on human rights, encompass the development of human rights law from its philosophical underpinnings and address many of its current controversies. The collected essays explore the drafting of major human rights instruments, including the political challenges that shaped those instruments; examine the interrelationship of various claimed rights; and identify factors producing compliance with - and violation of - human rights law. Other contributions analyze the role of non-governmental organizations in achieving better human rights protections as well as the danger of claiming too many rights, and the tension between rights and security. Contrasting viewpoints in several essays highlight some of the key conflicts in the field. An introductory essay provides a roadmap marking the collection’s major themes, and tracing the relationship between those themes. Taken together, the essays emphasize the legal underpinnings of the human rights regime and as such, the collection provides an essential, wide-ranging account of this important part of international law, procedure and practice.
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Contents: Introduction. Part I Philosophical, Religious, and Historical Influences Underlying the Development of Human Rights Law: Origins: the rise and fall of natural rights, Michael Freeman; Introduction: the human rights idea, Louis Henkin; Islam and human rights: beyond the universality debate, Abdullahi A. An-Na’im; Women’s rights as human rights: toward a re-vision of human rights, Charlotte Bunch. Part II Drafting of the Human Rights Provisions of the UN Charter and of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: The road to San Francisco: the revival of the human rights idea in the twentieth century, Jan Herman Burgers; World War Two and the Universal Declaration, Johannes Morsink; Article 55(c), Eibe H. Riedel and Jan-Michael Arend. Part III The Debate over Universality of Human Rights: Cultural relativism and universal human rights, Jack Donnelly; Savages, victims, and saviors: the metaphor of human rights, Makau Mutua; What’s wrong with Chinese rights?: Toward a theory of rights with Chinese characteristics, R.P. Peerenboom. Part IV Interdependence and Indivisibility of Civil, Economic, Cultural, Political and Social Rights: The past and future of the separation of human rights into categories, Stephen P. Marks; The importance of democracy, Amartya Sen; Freedom from want: how can we make indivisibility more than a mere slogan?, William A. Schabas; The Four Freedoms turn 70, Michael H. Posner; Procedures for the implementation of economic, social, and cultural rights, David Weissbrodt. Part V Compliance with Human Rights Standards and Causes of Human Rights Violations: Political, Sociological, Economic, etc./the Role of Bystanders: The normative context of human rights criticism: treaty ratification and UN mechanisms, Ann Marie Clark; The psychology of bystanders, perpetrators, and heroic helpers, Ervin Staub. Part VI The Role of NGOs in the Development of Human Rights: The status of human rights NGOs, Michael H. Posner and Candy Whittome; Transnation