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  • Author: Michal Rotem, Neve Gordon
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The struggle between Zionists and Palestinian Bedouin over land in the Negev/ Naqab has lasted at least a century. Notwithstanding the state’s continuing efforts to concentrate the Bedouin population within a small swath of land, scholars have documented how the Bedouin have adopted their own means of resistance, including different practices of sumud. In this paper we maintain, however, that by focusing on planning policies and the spatio-legal mechanisms deployed by the state to expropriate Bedouin land, one overlooks additional technologies and processes that have had a significant impact on the social production of space in the Negev. One such site is the struggle over the right to education, which, as we show, is intricately tied to the organization of space and the population inhabiting that space. We illustrate how the right to education has been utilized as an instrument of tacit displacement deployed to relocate and concentrate the Bedouin population in planned governmental towns. Simultaneously, however, we show how Bedouin activists have continuously invoked the right to education, using it as a tool for reinforcing their sumud. The struggle for education in the Israeli Negev is, in other words, an integral part of the struggle for and over land.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Jeffrey Reger
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Drawing on Arabic, English, and Hebrew language sources from the British and Israeli archives, this article seeks to bridge the catastrophic rupture of 1948 to the early 1950s and to trace the changing relationship between ordinary Palestinian olive cultivators in the Galilee and the newly established Israeli state. In contrast with studies that center on the continued expulsion of Palestinians and extension of control over land by the state and state-supported actors in the aftermath of the Nakba, this study examines those Palestinians who stayed on their land and how they responded to Israeli agricultural and food control policies that they saw as discriminatory to the point of being existential threats. Beyond analysis of Israeli state policy toward olive growers and olive oil producers, this article brings in rare Palestinian voices from the time, highlighting examples of Palestinian resistance to the Israeli state’s practices of confiscation and discrimination.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Sahar Francis
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Women have been instrumental to the Palestinian liberation struggle from its inception, and the role they have played in political, civil, and armed resistance has been as critical, if not as visible, as that of their male counterparts. In addition to experiencing the same forms of repression as men, be it arrest, indefinite detention, or incarceration, Palestinian women have also been subjected to sexual violence and other gendered forms of coercion at the hands of the Israeli occupation regime. Drawing on testimonies from former and current female prisoners, this paper details Israel’s incarceration policies and examines their consequences for Palestinian women and their families. It argues that Israel uses the incarceration of women as a weapon to undermine Palestinian resistance and to fracture traditionally cohesive social relations; and more specifically, that the prison authorities subject female prisoners to sexual and gender-based violence as a psychological weapon to break them and, by extension, their children.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Nehad Khader
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: In this profile of Rasmea Odeh, JPS examines the case of a Palestinian woman who has been incarcerated in both Israel and the United States. After a decade of confinement in Israel, Odeh was freed in a prisoner exchange in 1979. Following deportation from the occupied Palestinian territories, she became a noted social justice and women’s rights organizer, first in Lebanon and Jordan, and later in the U.S., where she built the now over 800-strong Arab Women’s Committee of Chicago. In April 2017, Odeh accepted a plea bargain that would lead to her deportation from the United States after a years-long legal battle to overturn a devastating conviction on charges of immigration fraud. Observers, legal experts, and supporters consider the case to “reek of political payback,” in the words of longtime Palestine solidarity activist, author, and academic Angela Davis. Odeh’s generosity of spirit, biting wit, and easy smile did not desert her throughout the years that she fought her case. To know Odeh is to be reminded that the work of organizing for social justice is about the collective rather than the individual, and that engagement, relationship building, and trust are the foundations of such work.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights, International Affairs, Prisons/Penal Systems
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Salim Tamari
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The passing of Ibrahim Dakkak in early June 2016 marked the departure of the last of the great socialist leaders of Palestine’s post-Nakba generation. Dakkak was known for multiple levels of activism, as a trade unionist, as an exponent of economic development and higher education, and as a political organizer. He was also widely recognized for his role as the chief architect in charge of the restoration of al-Aqsa Mosque after an arson attack in 1969. Politically, he was in the top leadership of three major movements inside the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt): al-Jabha al-wataniyya or Palestine National Front, a coalition launched in August 1973 that mobilized civil resistance to Israeli land confiscations and a whole host of other rights violations; Lajnat al-tawjih al-watani (the National Guidance Committee or NGC), established in 1978 to coordinate resistance efforts inside the oPt with the political leadership of the national movement based outside; and al-Mubadara al-wataniyya (the National Initiative Committee), which Dakkak cofounded with Mustafa Barghouti and Haidar Abdel-Shafi in the 1990s to counter the consequences of the Oslo Accords.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: C. William Walldorf, Jr.
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: C. WILLIAM WALLDORF, JR. discusses sanctions and their effectiveness to promote democracy and human rights. He draws from a set of historical cases in Latin America and argues that his Findings have direct policy implications for present day sanctions against countries like Burma and Syria. - See more at: http://www.psqonline.org/article.cfm?IDArticle=19316#sthash.l7UjcdcH.dpuf
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Central America, Syria
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: I think it is difficult to contest that the most important state player in world affairs over the last one hundred years – and consistently so over this period – has been the United States of America. World War I – into which, to borrow from Christopher Clark's justly celebrated book, we 'sleepwalked' – marks a useful starting point. It is not only the fairly important role America played in bringing WWI to an end that signals the beginning of this era, but also the no less important role it played in shaping the aftermath. Wilson's 14 points were considered at the time 'idealistic' by some of the yet-to-be 'Old Powers'. But by dismantling the Ottoman Empire through the principle of self-determination (not at that time a universal legally binding norm) it was an early swallow to the demise, a mere generation later, of all other colonial empires and the truly decisive reshaping of the balance of power in the post-WWII world. The US played an equally cardinal role in ideating and realizing the United Nations Organization and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – two lynchpins of our current world order.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Gaza
  • Author: Michelle Leanne Burgis-Kasthala
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This study employs a select ethnography of Palestinian workers in the field of international law and human rights to explore how an epistemic community gives content and meaning to international law in its professional and personal life. Through a series of interviews conducted in the West Bank in the wake of the Palestinian attempt to gain full United Nations membership in September 2011, the article constructs a meta-narrative about the nature of international legal discourse as spoken on the Palestinian periphery. It shows how speakers of international law are required to restate or over-state the distinction between law and politics so as to sustain their hope and desire for Palestinian statehood in the face of despair about its protracted denial. The article then is an exploration about the politics of meaning making through international law and a call for methodological hybridity within the discipline of international law.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Politics, United Nations
  • Author: Sara De Vido
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Water has been a challenging issue over the centuries. From questions of national boundaries and navigation, quite common in the past, to the development of a human right to water, this essential element for human life has always spurred debate among international lawyers, economists, political scientists, geographers, and anthropologists. The reason may be found in the scarcity of water, a phenomenon which affects both developed and developing countries. Much has been written on the topic, but the three books under review significantly contribute to a critical analysis of some pertinent legal issues related to water. The title of each monograph reflects the purpose of the respective study. Hence, International Law for a Water-Scarce World by Brown Weiss starts from the acknowledgement that 'the fresh water crisis is the new environmental crisis of the 21st century' (at 1) and provides an integrated analysis of water law, which considers climate implications, river basins, and the availability and quality of fresh water. Boisson De Chazournes' Fresh Water in International Law investigates the status of fresh water in international law. The choice of the titles of the chapters is particularly evocative. Thus, after a chapter on regulation of fresh water use, the book continues with chapters on the 'Economization' of the law applicable to fresh water, its 'Environmentalization', followed by its 'Humanization', and 'Institutionalization Trends in Fresh Water Governance', before focusing on dispute settlement mechanisms. The use of the ending '-zation' gives the immediate impression of the evolution of the law on fresh water resources, which now includes several separate but clearly interrelated aspects. The title of the third book, written by Thielbörger, deserves attention for two elements, the first being the letter 's' inside the parentheses and the second being the adjective 'unique' used for identifying the human right to water. The Right(s) to Water. The Multi-Level Governance of a Unique Human Right pursues a different purpose from the two other books under review which adopt a more comprehensive approach. Thielbörger's book (based on his doctoral dissertation) studies the human right to water from a comparative and international perspective, emphasizing the complexity of a right which is strictly linked to other rights but constitutes at the same time a right of its own.
  • Topic: Development, Human Rights, International Law
  • Author: Mark R. von Sternberg
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Both geographic and normative constraints restrict access to surrogate international human rights protection for those seeking a haven from serious human rights abuses. Primary among territorial restrictions has been the fall-out from the US Supreme Court's decision in Sale v. Haitian Council Centers in which the court explicitly ruled that nothing in US statutory law, or in the 1951 Convention on Refugees or its 1967 Protocol, precluded the interdiction of Haitian refugees in international waters and their return to the country of origin without an effective interview on their protection clams. This ruling is in transparent contradiction to the general international law norm of non-refoulement according to modern scholarship and emerging case law. This paper concludes that Sale should be overturned by statute as should related pre-screening practices. A new standard of “jurisdiction” should be adopted which does not depend on territorial access to a signatory state but on whether the state is exercising power in fact. Similar concerns exist with respect to safe third country agreements which often offend the international customary right of the asylum seeker to choose where his or her claim will be filed. This paper argues that the right of choice should be recognized and onward travel and admission to the country of destination allowed. This result is especially called for where return of the alien by the country of first contact raises serious concerns under the law of non-refoulement. Imbalances noted in this paper include those generated by the new terrorism related grounds of inadmissibility in the United States and the summary denial of children's asylum claims flowing from gang violence. Other questions are raised in this paper concerning work authorization and detention of asylum seekers. Access to an employment authorization Journal on Migration and Human Security document for those filing colorable claims should be recognized by statute to render US practice consistent with that of most other states. Release from detention, on the other hand, for asylum seekers has now been broadly recognized by the US Department of Homeland Security where the asylum seeker's identity can be ascertained and the claim is non-frivolous in nature. This approach is largely consistent with international law, although there have been unnecessary delays in implementing it. On the substantive law, the international customary norm of non-refoulment has been expanded considerably through the development of opinio juris by scholars and the practice of states. This paper traces efforts in Europe to develop a law of temporary refuge for those fleeing civil war situations characterized by humanitarian law violations. Similarly, case law under the European Convention of Human Rights has now come to focus on the harm the claimant would suffer as the result of conditions in the country of origin without identifying an explicit agent of serious harm. Related to these developments has been the notion of complementary protection under which relief can be conferred where the alien would suffer serious harm upon return to the home state but not for a Convention reason. These approaches have now received approval in the European Union Asylum Qualification Directive so that international protection may now be conferred either because the alien would suffer serious harm on account of the intensity of human rights violations taking place in the country of origin, or those conditions, taken in conjunction with the claimant's personal situation, support a finding that the claimant would be impacted. This paper argues that this latter standard has now been made a part of the customary norm of non-refoulement and that it should be recognized by statute as a basis for non-return and coupled with status where the new standard can be met. Such a measure would help restore the nation's commitment to human rights and humanitarian concerns.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Stéphanie Hennette Vauchez
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Building on the heightened attention that the optic of judicial selection receives in the world of international courts, this article focuses its attention on one particular criterion that is gaining in importance in that respect: gender. By choosing the European Court of Human Rights as a case in point, the article provides a unique analysis of the history of the 2004 Resolution of the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly that formulated a rule of gender balance on the list of candidates presented by states for the post of judge at the Court. It first unearths the dynamics that allowed the adoption of the rule as well as all of the fierce opposition it triggered as well as the ways in which counter-mobilization eventually prevailed and watered down the initial rule, with the help of states, the Committee of Ministers and the Court itself (which delivered its first advisory opinion on the topic in 2008). It then looks beyond the static analysis of the rule as a mere constraint and addresses in a more dynamic fashion the multiple interpretations, strategies and, ultimately, politics it opens up. By providing a unique qualitative, comparative and exhaustive analysis of the curriculum vitae of all the 120-odd women who were ever listed as candidates to the Strasbourg judicial bench (1959–2012), the article delivers original data and analyses both the features that women candidates put forth when listed for the job and the strategies of states with regard to the gender criterion. It concludes that while there is a strong proportion of candidates that support the notion that states do not differentiate according to gender or require different qualities from men and women candidates, there is a comparable proposition that contrarily indicates that the world of international judicial appointments is far from gender neutral.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Françoise Tulkens
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Having spent almost 14 years as a judge at the European Court of Human Rights, the author responds to and shares the critical view expressed by Hennette Vauchez in her article on the presence of women judges at the European Court of Human Rights. Some steps forward have admittedly been made through the voluntary action of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, but there has also been resistance in the implementation of these new rules. The gains are fragile and there are risks of regression. This situation confirms Kenney's analysis: women's progress is not natural, inevitable nor irreversible. A reaction is all the more necessary and urgent since, in the coming months of 2015 and subsequently, many elections of judges to the Court will take place, due in particular to the non-renewable nine-year term of office of judges introduced by Protocol No. 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Fionnuala Ní Aoláin
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article responds to a thoughtful intervention by Stéphanie Hennette Vauchez documenting the selection process for women seeking judicial appointment to the European Court of Human Rights. Written in the context of the author's experience as candidate for appointment to the Court, the analysis concentrates on the gendered dimensions of international institutional cultures, habits and practices that frame selection to judicial office as much as any formally applicable rules. I explore the ways in which ostensible access to international judicial bodies conceals the manifold ways in which Courts are coded masculine, and how female candidacy requires careful deliberation on performance, presentation and identity. Drawing on 'new institutionalism' theory, I underscore that female presence alone rarely undoes embedded institutional practices. Rather, transforming institutional practices and values must parallel female presence, thereby redefining the institution and the forms of power it exercises. The article concludes by reflecting on the importance of feminist judging, and argues that it is precisely the transformative political and legal changes sought by self-defined feminists that may stand the best chance of undoing the structures, habits and practices that continue to exclude women from being appointed and from engaging on terms of full equality when they arrive.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Paolo Lobba
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Litigation concerning domestic restrictions on Holocaust denial has produced a 30-year-long jurisprudence of the European Court and European Commission of Human Rights. In spite of solemnly declared principles on free speech, the Strasbourg organs have progressively developed an exceptional regime in this regard based on the 'abuse clause' envisaged under Article 17. Had this detrimental treatment remained confined to its original sphere, it could have perhaps been considered as a negligible issue. However, the scope of the abuse clause was extended to encompass a growing class of utterances, including the denial of historical facts other than the Nazi genocide. This piece begins by examining the Strasbourg case law on Holocaust denial, with a view to enucleating the effects, scope and conditions of applicability of the special regime based upon Article 17. Once the shortcomings implied by this detrimental discipline have been exposed, it shall be argued that all expressions should be dealt with under the ordinary necessity test, in which the abuse clause ought to operate as an interpretative principle. In the alternative, and as a minimum, the Court should pay due regard to the political and social context of the country where restrictions on free speech were enforced, setting aside the uniquely harsh treatment reserved for Holocaust denial.
  • Topic: Genocide, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: David Scheffer
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: If the future of human rights is dependent on the capacity of the state to fulfill them, then one must focus on how the private sector interfaces with public values—an interface that directly affects how billions of people survive both economically and with dignity. During the last few years reports about multinational corporations shielding phenomenal profits from meaningful taxation have troubled governments and individual taxpayers alike. But there has been little effort to associate such tax avoidance schemes with corporate abdication of responsibility f or advancing critical societal goals. Instead, much of the ensuing debate has centered on how to tax corporate profits fairly and more efficiently. While the ideas being marketed in this area are enlightening, there has been less discussion about why corporate taxation is a worthy public goal or what corporations should do voluntarily. The linkage between corporate tax avoidance and “corporate social responsibility” (CSR) has not yet been clearly drawn, but the moment has arrived to bridge the gap. That task may necessitate changing, fundamentally, the ethical framework within which corporate officers, boards of directors, shareholders, tax advisers, and stakeholders in general operate.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Author: Clifford Bob
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In recent decades, there have been many international campaigns on numerous issues. In turn, scholars have analysed the activist networks promoting human rights, environmental quality and global justice, developing theories of transnational advocacy, strategies and outcomes. However, analysts have seldom noted that the 'progressive' networks on which these theories have been based seldom act unopposed. Instead, on numerous global issues leftwing groups face fierce opposition from networks of rightwing activists. This article provides examples of such clashes, focusing on these understudied conservative networks. In addition, it outlines a theory for understanding the conflict of networks over many policy issues. Keywords: activism, civil society, transnational advocacy, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), human rights
  • Topic: Environment, Government, Human Rights
  • Author: Christopher H. Foreman, Jr.
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: I began exploring public health policy and politics 25 years ago in a world quite different from the one thoughtfully assessed in this analytically penetrating volume. Back then “health” uttered by a political scientist or economist nearly always meant “health care” construed as domestic public and private arrangements that delivered or financed the delivery of defined categories of services by doctors and hospitals. Questions of cost and access loomed large, as now, but primarily as concerns of individual national governments and with “public health” considered, if at all, as a decidedly secondary domain, especially in nations developed enough to have middle classes that took matters like immunizations and basic sanitation largely for granted. Analysts barely spoke of “global” anything, much less “global health,” and international relations had only recently begun to blossom beyond its traditional terrain of state‐centered security and diplomacy. As Colin McInnes and Kelley Lee recall, “Orthodox International Relations… created little space for the consideration of health issues. In particular, health appeared to International Relations scholars as a domestic concern largely unrelated to matters of international security”.
  • Topic: Health, Human Rights
  • Author: Ineta Ziemele, Lasma Liede
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article addresses the issue of reservations to human rights treaties in the light of the work done by the International Law Commission and its Special Rapporteur, Mr Alain Pellet. Section 1 gives a short historical background for the topic. Section 2 provides a concise overview of the variety of arguments that have been raised in the debate on the character of human rights treaties and the permissibility of reservations to those treaties, as well as their relationship with the reservations regime established under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Section 3 gives a number of specific examples of reservations permitted under the human rights treaties and describes the approach taken by some human rights treaty bodies in that respect. It also depicts the manner in which some of these bodies have dealt with the intricate issue of the consequences of impermissible reservations. Section 4 analyses the guidelines adopted by the ILC and offers some reflection on their contribution to the development of international treaty law on this topic. Section 5 concludes by praising the comprehensive work of the ILC on the subject.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law
  • Political Geography: Vienna
  • Author: Andrew Williams
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The orthodox view of the ECHR and its Court as regime in the context of both the EU and UK has been that it has considerable value albeit with systemic flaws. The purpose of this article is to challenge this orthodoxy. Four inter-related submissions are made: that the ECHR has failed human rights conceptually (1); 'good' or lauded decisions of the ECtHR cannot remedy or sufficiently counter-balance this conceptual failure (2); 'bad' decisions further expose and exacerbate the failure (3); the procedural problems of the ECHR regime may contribute to the underlying failure of concept but their resolution cannot solve it (4). These submissions are to provoke a more intense assessment of value and how such value could be enhanced. It may be too late to see any influence on the accession process but this does not reduce the relevance of the critique for the future of human rights in both the EU and the UK. Ultimately an approach to the ECHR system needs to determine whether it continues to be lauded or its influence resisted (thus seeking reform or replacement - the alternative candidates being the EU Charter and/or a national Bill of Rights) and retained only as an iconic scheme of moral importance.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Stelios Andreadakis
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This reaction piece responds to the article by Andrew Williams entitled 'The European Convention on Human Rights, the EU and the UK: Confronting a Heresy'. In his article, Williams contends that we should not further support the 'orthodox' view that the Convention (ECHR) has been very successful in protecting and promoting human rights across Europe, offering four submissions to that end. It will be argued that Dr Williams' submissions regarding the ECHR's success and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)'s role are not well supported and justified. The relationship between the ECHR and a future UK Bill of Rights will also be explored in the piece, as there is no sufficient link between the author's arguments about the ECHR regime and the UK legal system, making it rather artificial to refer to the UK as a possible model for human rights.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Rosa Rafaelli
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This short article aims to further the discussion over horizontal review between international organizations started by Deshman in her analysis of the role of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe after the H1N1 pandemic. The article compares the historical evolution of the European Parliament to that of the Parliamentary Assembly and examines how the EP's involvement with issues such as human rights and international relations served to build its identity, to gain international recognition, and to obtain more formal powers. It suggests possible additional reasons explaining the PA's willingness to perform horizontal review over action carried out by the WHO, and potential paths for future developments.
  • Topic: International Relations, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Loveday Hodson
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Her normative prescriptions, in other words, by insisting on a framework of constitutional pluralism and rejecting other forms of legal pluralism, leave aside the many other powerful global institutions and bodies that generate rules and norms, other than the UN Security Council or other UN bodies on which the book concentrates. While it is clear that the UN is the predominant global security organization, and the one with military power at its service, there are also many other organizations and bodies which have morphed or are morphing, as Cohen puts it in the book, into global governance institutions. Yet the book's focus on the need for political communities which participate in an overarching 'political community of communities' seems to leave many of these other important sites of legal and political authority out of the picture, and to reject as inadequate some of the more modest but perhaps also more currently feasible legal reform proposals which have been made.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law
  • Author: Erika George
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Two recent publications present a defence of the right to health as it is articulated in international law and also provide insights into the array of impediments to realizing the health right. Despite a perceived conceptual lack of coherence and a limited appreciation of its relevance among health care professionals identified in these two books, the right to health has nevertheless succeeded in capturing greater attention in global policy circles. Local health care system reform initiatives around the globe increasingly make reference to the right to health. Both books are particularly helpful additions to the literature in light of recent advances in the development of the health right. Yet, each offers a very different assessment of its present status and prognosis for its future development.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Health Care Policy
  • Author: Matias Spektor
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Brazilian attitudes toward national sovereignty and non-intervention are in a state of flux. Leaders in Brasília are seeking to actively take part in the current global rethink about the future of humanitarian intervention, and are increasingly willing to deploy men in uniform to distant lands when the lives of civilians are at stake. The change is significant because Brazil has historically championed national sovereignty. Many in Washington DC and in European capitals, however, view this as problematic. The skeptics dismiss Brazil's newly professed commitment to humanitarian intervention as an effort to complicate the ability of the United States and its allies to intervene worldwide on behalf of democracy and human rights. As U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said in reaction to the attitudes of Brazil and other developing countries to policy toward Libya, Sudan, Côte d'Ivoire, and Syria: “Let me just say, we've learned a lot and, frankly, not all of it encouraging.”
  • Topic: Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Washington, Syria
  • Author: Michael Shifter
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: At first glance, perhaps the most notable feature of Plan Colombia has been its longevity. Given the current divisiveness in Washington, the bipartisan support it has received across three administrations now seems remarkable. After 12 years, the plan is gradually winding down, but the U.S. allocated more than $300 million under the program in 2012 alone. Although the Plan has evolved considerably since it was approved by the U.S. Congress in July 2000, it has become shorthand for wide-ranging U.S. cooperation with Colombia to assist that country in combating drugs, guerrilla violence, and related institutional and social problems. All told, the U.S. has spent nearly $8 billion on the initiative—more than anywhere outside of the Middle East, and Iraq and Afghanistan since the end of the Cold War. Although the effort gave priority to counter-narcotics operations—and specifically the eradication of coca in southern Colombia—from the outset it also encompassed assistance for the judiciary and economic development.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Development, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Washington, Middle East
  • Author: Luis Cubeddu, Camilo Tovar, Evridiki Tsounta
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Since 2003, mortgage credit in Latin America has expanded at an annual rate of 14 percent (adjusted for inflation)—well above rates observed in emerging Asia but below the exorbitant rates seen in emerging Europe before its housing bust. The region's credit expansion has been accompanied by burgeoning real estate prices and construction activity—now representing more than 6 percent of GDP, higher than in emerging Asia or Europe. Mortgage growth has been particularly strong in Brazil, where the five-fold increase in mortgage credit since 2007 has been accompanied by a near tripling of house prices in the main metropolitan areas.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Arts Innovator: Andrea Baranenko, Venezuela Latin America is moving forward, but Venezuela is moving in the opposite direction,” says Andrea Baranenko, a 28-year-old Venezuelan filmmaker whose recent documentary, Yo Indocumentada (I, Undocumented), exposes the struggles of transgender people in her native country. The film, Baranenko's first feature-length production, tells the story of three Venezuelan women fighting for their right to have an identity. Tamara Adrián, 58, is a lawyer; Desirée Pérez, 46, is a hairdresser; and Victoria González, 27, has been a visual arts student since 2009. These women share more than their nationality: they all carry IDs with masculine names that don't correspond to their actual identities. They're transgender women, who long ago assumed their gender and now defend it in a homophobic and transphobic society.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Reform
  • Political Geography: America, Venezuela, Guatemala
  • Author: Tanya K. Hernandez
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The Americas present many contrasting approaches to affirmative action. In the United States, the Supreme Court reaffirmed its constitutionality, while at the same time narrowing the ability to use race in the Fisher v. Texas case. In contrast, several Latin American countries are beginning to explore more dynamic affirmative action policies. While many of these policies are recent and still developing, the new Latin American interest in affirmative action programs indicates how useful such programs can be in pursuing racial justice. In fact, Latin America has in some ways gone much further in broadly embracing affirmative action as a human right-a key, perhaps, to the growing support for the concept.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Germany, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Business Innovator: Felipe Arango, Colombia The Chocó region in western Colombia is one of the most mineral-rich places in the hemisphere. It is also ecologically rich, boasting species of flora thought to be unique to Chocó. But due to years of commercial gold and platinum mining that have leached mercury and cyanide into local rivers, the Chocó region has also become one of the most threatened natural areas in the world. Felipe Arango has been working to change that. Arango, 34, is CEO of Oro Verde—an NGO based in Medellín, Colombia, that empowers local miners to use more ecologically friendly artisanal mining techniques. Founded in 2003, the organization purchases gold produced by certified artisanal miners, many of them Afro-Colombian, and sells it to socially conscious jewelers around the world. Oro Verde takes a 2 percent cut to fund its operations and administration, and contributes its profits and reinvested premiums to the protection of 11,120 acres (4,500 hectares) of tropical rainforest. Oro Verde's gold certification process, meanwhile, has influenced the development of a global “fair-trade, fair-mined” gold certification process.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: New York, Colombia
  • Author: Santiago A. Canton
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The Inter-American System enshrined the right to freedom of thought and expression in Article 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights and Article IV of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. In 1998, to further protect this right, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR or the Commission) established the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression. I served as the first head of the office.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Berdal Aral
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper examines the position of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) during the Arab revolutions of 2010-2013. In the early 1990s, the UNSC devised the doctrine of 'humanitarian intervention' which was premised on the view that systematic and comprehensive human rights violations within a state could pose a “threat to international peace and security.” Nevertheless, the Security Council consistently failed to act during the course of Arab uprisings due to a number of structural and procedural problems, including the primacy of national interests, permanent members' disagreement about the meaning of 'collective security,' and the isolated nature of decision-making whereby the substance of major resolutions is negotiated behind closed doors.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Libya, Arabia
  • Author: Erik Voeten
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article responds to the valuable contribution by Dia Anagnostou and Alina Mungiu- Pippidi in which they analyse how nine countries implemented European Court of Human Rights judgments that found violations of Articles 8–11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Their conclusion that capacity plays an important role in the implementation of ECtHR judgments is certainly correct. In this short response, I highlight various aspects of the authors' analysis where they make problematic choices with regard to data and statistical methods. First, I describe and use a more comprehensive dataset that allows us to reach more generalizable conclusions. Secondly, I show how survival analysis is a more appropriate framework than logit or linear regression for analysing these data. Thirdly, I argue that the difficulty of the implementation task needs to be accounted for in any analysis of cross-country variation in implementation. My re-analysis shows that low capacity countries attract judgments that are more difficult to implement. The analysis also uncovers a subtle relationship between time, institutional capacity, and checks and balances. High capacity helps willing politicians to implement judgments quickly. Yet, among judgments that have been pending longer, countries with higher capacity are no quicker to implement than lower capacity countries. By contrast, checks and balances initially slow down implementation but help to eventually ensure begrudging implementation.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Rosa Freedman
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: National courts have long understood the UN to have absolute immunity from their jurisdiction, based upon provisions in the UN Charter and the Convention on Privileges and Immunities of the UN. While state immunity has evolved over recent decades, allowing restrictive immunity that distinguishes between acts jure imperii and those jure gestionis, questions have arisen as to whether that doctrine applies to international organizations and, specifically, the UN. The counterbalance to the UN's absolute immunity is the requirement that it provide alternative mechanisms for resolving disputes. This raises concerns about accountability and internal review. Case law from various courts demonstrates an increasing willingness to attempt to challenge absolute immunity on the basis that the bar to jurisdiction violates claimants' rights to access a court and to a remedy. In all of those cases, individuals' ability to access alternative mechanisms for dispute resolution has been used to show that their rights have been realized. Recent events concerning the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti may lead to a challenge to the UN's absolute immunity. The UN has deemed those claims to be 'not receivable', which denies the claimants their rights to access a court and to a remedy. In October 2013, lawyers for the Haiti cholera victims filed a class action in the Southern District of New York, seeking to challenge the UN's immunity by bringing the Organization before a national court. This article explores whether the events in Haiti may provide the first successful, human rights-based challenge to the UN's absolute immunity.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: New York
  • Author: Paloma Muñoz Quick
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: While numerous United Nations mechanisms have addressed the impact of business activities on Indigenous rights, it was only in 2011—with the UN Human Rights Council's unanimous endorsement of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights—that the role of businesses in respecting, or abusing, these rights was officially acknowledged.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: This issue features essays by Roger Berkowitz on "Drones and the Question of 'The Human'" and Alan Sussman on the philosophical foundations of human rights; a special centennial roundtable on "The Future of Human Rights," featuring Beth A. Simmons, Philip Alston, James W. Nickel, Jack Donnelly, and Andrew Gilmour; a review essay by Jens Bartelson on empire and sovereignty; and book reviews by Dale Jamieson, Tom Bailey, and Simon Cotton.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, International Political Economy, Sovereignty, International Affairs
  • Author: Alan Sussman
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: The title of this essay is rather ambitious and the space available is hardly sufficient to examine two words of almost limitless expanse—“human rights”—whether standing alone or in tandem. This requires that I begin with (and remained disciplined by) what a teacher of mine, Leo Strauss, called “low facts.” My low facts are these: We call ourselves humans because we have certain characteristics that define our nature. We are social and political animals, as Aristotle noted, and possess attributes not shared by other animals. The ancients noted this, of course, when they defined our principal behavioral and cognitive distinction from the rest of the natural world as the faculty of speech. The Greek word for this, logos, means much more than speech, as it connotes word and reason and, in the more common understanding, talking and writing, praising and criticizing, persuading and reading. While other animals communicate by making sounds of attraction or warning, leaving smells, and so on, none read newspapers, make speeches, publish their memoirs, or write poetry.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, International Political Economy, Sovereignty, International Affairs
  • Author: Dale Jamieson
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: This is the inaugural volume in the Amnesty International Global Ethics Series, edited by Kwame Anthony Appiah. John Broome, the author of this volume, is a trained economist, distinguished philosopher, and a lead author of the 2014 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. He is very well suited to fulfill the mandate of the series, which is to "broaden the set of issues taken up by the human rights community." It is thus surprising that the book does not discuss human rights (or rights at all), nor locate itself in relation to much of the relevant literature. Nevertheless, this is an excellent book, displaying the author's characteristic virtues of clarity, concision, precision, and intellectual honesty.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, International Political Economy, Sovereignty, International Affairs
  • Author: Tom Bailey
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: In Global Justice and Avant-Garde Political Agency , Lea Ypi proposes a novel approach to political theory in relation to the issue of global equality. She fiercely criticizes the tendency to abstract from the realities of political agency in "ideal" theorizing, since, she insists, such abstraction renders the conclusions drawn practically irrelevant and indeterminate. But she also refuses to treat current political practices and norms as given constraints in the manner of "nonideal" theorizing, on the grounds that the selection of relevant practices and norms is always morally loaded and their analysis inevitably conservative. Instead, Ypi proposes that theory begin with a specific political conflict, diagnose the failure of existing practices and norms to resolve it, and, in this light, develop better practices and norms. She calls this approach "dialectical" insofar as it considers political practices and norms to develop progressively in resolving emerging political problems, and "activist" or "avant-garde" in its responding and contributing to political change through appropriate political agents.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, International Political Economy, Sovereignty, International Affairs
  • Author: Simon Cotton
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: We are all familiar with the claim that the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are unjust or otherwise objectionable. Yet this claim faces substantial hurdles in motivating corrective action. Most significantly, wealthy states face political pressures against moderating their bargaining positions. But this is not the only problem. First, there remains the suspicion that these rules are not, in fact, objectionable, or that they are only mildly so—perhaps "bad" but not "unjust." After all, no country is forced to be subject to them; the WTO is a voluntary institution. Second, we still have to determine what rules would be just. Is it really the job of the WTO to compensate for inherent inequalities between countries? In this book, the first philosophical work devoted exclusively to "fair trade," Aaron James seeks to combat the second of these challenges directly. In doing so, he also combats the first.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, International Political Economy, Sovereignty, International Affairs
  • Author: Roger Berkowitz
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Domino's Pizza is testing "Domicopter" drones to deliver pizzas, which will compete with Taco Bell's "Tacocopter" drones. Not to be outdone, Amazon is working on an army of delivery drones that will cut out the postal service. In Denmark, farmers use drones to inspect fields for the appearance of harmful weeds, which reduces herbicide use as the drones directly apply pesticides only where it is needed. Environmentalists send drones into glacial caves or into deep waters, gathering data that would be too dangerous or expensive for human scientists to procure. Federal Express dreams of pilotless aerial and terrestrial drones that will transport goods more cheaply, reliably, and safely than vehicles operated by humans. Human rights activists deploy drones over conflict zones, intelligently searching for and documenting abuses for both rhetorical and legal purposes. Aid agencies send unmanned drones to villages deep in jungles or behind enemy lines, maneuvering hazardous terrain to bring food and supplies to endangered populations. Medical researchers are experimenting with injecting drone blood cells into humans that can mimic good cholesterol carriers or identify and neutralize cancerous cells. Parents in Vermont are using flying drones to accompany children to school, giving a whole new meaning to helicopter parenting. And Pilobolus, a New York dance company, has choreographed a dance in which drones and humans engage each other in the most human of acts: the creation of art.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, International Political Economy, Sovereignty, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Denmark
  • Author: Beth A. Simmons
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: The modern human rights movement is at a critical juncture in its history. It has been nearly seventy years since the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and some of the oldest and most active human rights organizations have been operating around the world for about forty years. More than twenty years have passed since the end of the cold war, and the time when people spoke in triumphal terms of the global success of Western values is now a fading memory. International human rights are ensconced as firmly as ever in international law and institutions, but what about the future of the "human rights movement"?
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, International Political Economy, Sovereignty, International Affairs
  • Author: Philip Alston
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Too much of the debate about how respect for human rights can be advanced on a global basis currently revolves around crisis situations involving so-called mass atrocity crimes and the possibility of addressing abuse through the use of military force. This preoccupation, as understandable as it is, serves to mask much harder questions of how to deal with what might be termed silent and continuous atrocities, such as gross forms of gender or ethnic discrimination or systemic police violence, in ways that are achievable, effective, and sustainable. This more prosaic but ultimately more important quest is often left to, or perhaps expropriated by, international lawyers. Where the politician often finds solace in the deployment of military force, the international lawyer turns instinctively to the creation of a new mechanism of some sort. Those of modest inclination might opt for a committee or perhaps an inquiry procedure. The more ambitious, however, might advocate the establishment of a whole new court. And surely the most "visionary" of such proposals is one calling for the creation of a World Court of Human Rights. A version of this idea was put forward in the 1940s, but garnered no support. The idea has now been revived, in great detail, and with untrammeled ambition, under the auspices of an eminent group of international human rights law specialists.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, International Political Economy, Sovereignty, International Affairs
  • Author: James W. Nickel
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Like people born shortly after World War II, the international human rights movement recently had its sixty-fifth birthday. This could mean that retirement is at hand and that death will come in a few decades. After all, the formulations of human rights that activists, lawyers, and politicians use today mostly derive from the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the world in 1948 was very different from our world today: the cold war was about to break out, communism was a strong and optimistic political force in an expansionist phase, and Western Europe was still recovering from the war. The struggle against entrenched racism and sexism had only just begun, decolonization was in its early stages, and Asia was still poor (Japan was under military reconstruction, and Mao's heavy-handed revolution in China was still in the future). Labor unions were strong in the industrialized world, and the movement of women into work outside the home and farm was in its early stages. Farming was less technological and usually on a smaller scale, the environmental movement had not yet flowered, and human-caused climate change was present but unrecognized. Personal computers and social networking were decades away, and Earth's human population was well under three billion.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, International Political Economy, Sovereignty, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, Asia, United Nations
  • Author: Jack Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: I am skeptical of our ability to predict, or even forecast, the future—of human rights or any other important social practice. Nonetheless, an understanding of the paths that have brought us to where we are today can facilitate thinking about the future. Thus, I approach the topic by examining the reshaping of international ideas and practices of state sovereignty and human rights since the end of World War II. I argue that in the initial decades after the war, international society constructed an absolutist conception of exclusive territorial jurisdiction that was fundamentally antagonistic to international human rights. At the same time, though, human rights were for the first time included among the fundamental norms of international society. And over the past two decades, dominant understandings of sovereignty have become less absolutist and more human rights–friendly, a trend that I suggest is likely to continue to develop, modestly, in the coming years.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, International Political Economy, Sovereignty, International Affairs
  • Author: Andrew Gilmour
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Ever since the Charter of the United Nations was signed in 1945, human rights have constituted one of its three pillars, along with peace and development. As noted in a dictum coined during the World Summit of 2005: "There can be no peace without development, no development without peace, and neither without respect for human rights." But while progress has been made in all three domains, it is with respect to human rights that the organization's performance has experienced some of its greatest shortcomings. Not coincidentally, the human rights pillar receives only a fraction of the resources enjoyed by the other two—a mere 3 percent of the general budget.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, International Political Economy, Sovereignty, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, United Nations
  • Author: Jens Bartelson
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Sovereignty apparently never ceases to attract scholarly attention. Long gone are the days when its meaning was uncontested and its essential attributes could be safely taken for granted by international theorists. During the past decades international relations scholars have increasingly emphasized the historical contingency of sovereignty and the mutability of its corresponding institutions and practices, yet these accounts have been limited to the changing meaning and function of sovereignty within the international system. This focus has served to reinforce some of the most persistent myths about the origin of sovereignty, and has obscured questions about the diffusion of sovereignty outside the European context.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, International Political Economy, Sovereignty, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Moria Paz
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Key human rights instruments and leading scholars argue that minority language rights should be treated as human rights, both because language is constitutive of an individual's cultural identity and because linguistic pluralism increases diversity. These treaties and academics assign the value of linguistic pluralism in diversity. But, as this article demonstrates, major human rights courts and quasi-judicial institutions are not, in fact, prepared to force states to swallow the dramatic costs entailed by a true diversity-protecting regime. Outside narrow exceptions or a path dependent national-political compromise, these enforcement bodies continuously allow the state actively to incentivize assimilation into the dominant culture and language of the majority. The minority can still maintain its distinct language, but only at its own cost. The slippage between the promise of rights and their actual interpretation carries some important political and economic benefits, but the resulting legal outcome does not provide the robust protection of diversity to which lip service is paid. Importantly, the assimilationist nature of the jurisprudence is not indifferent to human rights. However, instead of advancing maximal linguistic diversity as a pre-eminent norm, the regime that is applied by judicial bodies supports a different set of human rights: those protecting linguistic minorities from discrimination, and promoting equal access of the group to market and political institutions. The result is a tension between two human rights values: pluralism and equality.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Culture
  • Author: Loveday Hodson
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article places the UN Women's Committee at its centre in order to consider the normative implications of having a space within the realm of international law that is headed by women decision-makers, whose remit is specifically gendered and whose task is to uphold the rights of women. It suggests that the Committee's importance has largely been overlooked, which is a considerable oversight. The Committee is uniquely positioned to contribute to the transformation of human rights norms, occupying, as it arguably does, positions simultaneously at the centre and at the periphery of international law. In particular, this article examines the jurisprudence that has emerged under the individual complaints procedure of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and questions how far the Committee has been able to develop women's rights in recent years into a body of law that departs from the normative and structural limitations of international human rights laws.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Wolfgang Hoffmann-Riem
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The article analyses the activities of the European Commission for Democracy through Law. Addressed are the standards applied in the Commission's opinions, especially on constitutional provisions and other legal norms or drafts. The article looks at the impact that these (non-binding) opinions have on the states concerned as well as on the European Court of Human Rights. Though recommendations are sometimes disregarded, most states do react positively, at least in part. To some extent the Commission could enhance the effect of its opinions by joining forces with other relevant institutions in the field, especially the Council of Europe and the European Commission. Endorsing and implementing recommendations gives states an opportunity to share in the reputation that comes with being part of a community founded on Human Rights, the Rule of Law, and Democracy. An overall assessment is made of the Commission's approach to its work.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Seline Trevisanut
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Many are the threats that challenge the security of the oceans today. Piracy, which was thought to be relegated to history and adventure books (and films), has re-appeared and threatens human lives but also, cynically more importantly for states, the safe transport of goods. The seas provide the main route for trade in goods worldwide. Their security is an imperative for a globalized economy. In the 2008 Report on Oceans and the Law of the Sea, the UN Secretary General identified seven specific threats to maritime security: (1) piracy and armed robbery; (2) terrorist acts against shipping, offshore installations, and other maritime interests; (3) illicit trafficking in arms and weapons of mass destruction (WMD); (4) illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances; (5) smuggling and trafficking of persons at sea; (6) illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing; and (7) international and unlawful damage to the marine environment.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Author: Paloma Muñoz Quick
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: While numerous United Nations mechanisms have addressed the impact of business activities on Indigenous rights, it was only in 2011—with the UN Human Rights Council's unanimous endorsement of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights—that the role of businesses in respecting, or abusing, these rights was officially acknowledged.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Bertil Emrah Oder
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This edited volume on European constitutionalism is a compendium of essays with different interpretations on the constitutional authority and nature of the European Union (EU). This issue has faced various challenges in the last decade not only by national courts and referenda, but also vis-à-vis other international and regional actors, such as United Nations (UN) and European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Haitham Saad Aloudah
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Sa researcher interested in Turkish foreign policy and domestic politics, I was very captivated with the book's title as it entails an analysis of the way in which the EU reforms have impacted Turkey's human rights record and development. However, this also raises questions, such as what were the sources of the democratization and human rights reforms? Has the EU been the main force behind such transformation? Or, are there other domestic factors that we need to take into account as well? Such analysis enables us to draw significant conclusions on the development of the role of the police and other government control and protection tools in a human rights' context and evaluate possible causes of such reforms.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Suna Gülfer Ihlamur-öner
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The EU has been involved in democracy promotion in the Mediterranean for many years. However, it is facing criticism from its members and partners for prioritizing security and stability over democracy. Particularly following the Arab uprisings, the effectiveness of the EU's efforts have increasingly been called into question and demands for a new approach towards democratization in the Mediterranean are growing. Ann-Kristin Jonasson's book, The EU's Democracy Promotion and the Mediterranean Neighbors: Orientation, Ownership and Dialogue in Jordan and Turkey, systematically evaluates the EU's democratization efforts by focusing on democracy promotion in two Mediterranean countries, Jordan and Turkey, and effectively addresses the major pitfalls in the EU's strategy. Therefore, it is a timely contribution as the Arab revolutions have forced us to reconsider the prospects for democratization in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Arabia, Jordan
  • Author: Peter Hakim
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: US-Brazilian relations sunk to one of their lowest points ever following last year's exposure of the US government's massive surveillance of the South American giant-including the correspondence of President Rousseff and the business operations of Brazil's national oil company, Petrobras. Brazilian authorities responded angrily. The Brazilian president called off a highly valued state visit to Washington, denounced the US for violations of sovereignty and human rights, and proceeded to bypass the US to purchase nearly $5 billion worth of fighter aircraft from Sweden. In fact, US-Brazil ties have not been constructive for more than a generation. Yes, relations are mostly amiable, but with limited cooperation, considerable discord and some open clashes. Washington views Brazil primarily as a regional actor, and wants its cooperation mainly on inter-American issues. For Brazil, regional collaboration means working with other Latin American nations-not the United States. Brazil usually wants the US to keep a distance from the region. The US is no more enthusiastic about Brazil assuming a global role; differences over some of the world's most dangerous political and security challenges have made Washington uneasy about Brazil's engagement in international affairs and critical of its foreign policy judgements. Relations will probably improve, but they could get worse. The two governments need to acknowledge that their relationship is fragile and troubled, and take steps both to rebuild trust and to avert further deterioration and new confrontations. They have to be more careful with each other.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Brazil
  • Author: Susan Gzesh
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: International human rights are "inalienable, indivisible, and universal." One cannot bargain away one's rights ("inalienable"); human rights are a whole with economic rights and civil rights being inter-dependent ("indivisible"); and human rights do not depend on citizenship or membership in a nation state ("universal"). A human being does not lose his or her human rights by crossing a border. However in state regulation of the entrance and stay of temporary migrant workers, the ideal of universal human rights clashes with the prerogatives of sovereignty and power.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Susan Ginsburg
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirmed in Article 13 that "[e]veryone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country." In response to the Soviet Union's and China's prohibitive controls over the travel of their citizens, Article 13 recognized the right of individual citizens to take trips to other countries willing to receive them, knowing that they may return home at the end of their foreign stays.
  • Topic: Globalization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Friedrich V. Kratochwil
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: The 'return' of religion has not only engendered new conflicts in world politics, but also fundamentally challenged the Western political project, which allegedly rests on a strict separation of the public and private sphere. Religion is supposed to play a role only within the confines of the latter, as it is considered a 'privately held belief'. Of course, this project is neither shared by all Westerners, nor is it necessarily persuasive to other cultures. Thus within the emerging global sphere it is by no means clear whether such a strict separation can muster assent.(Barbato and Kratochwil 2009: 1–24) For this reason some thinkers, such as Habermas (2003) or Connolly (1999), among many, have attempted to formulate a new approach in which ways of overcoming the dis- placement of religions to the 'private/personal' realm are explored, in order to harness the semantic potential of religion for the establishment of a discourse on global order, while avoiding at the same time the establishment of a particular orthodoxy or of a millenarian political projects based on the notion of absolute 'truth'.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Law
  • Author: Christopher Sabatini
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: For decades, the standard framework for describing and understanding U.S.-Latin American relations has been the overwhelming hegemonic power of the “colossus of the north.” Now, though, with the rise of regional powers like Brazil, the importance of new emerging economies like China, and the diversity of political and economic models in the region, policymakers and observers are beginning to discuss the decline of U.S. power in the region. Whether real or perceived, the effects of waning U.S. influence are already shaping countries' calculations in their domestic and foreign policies and the formation of multilateral alliances. What are the implications of the perceived decline of U.S. hegemony for Latin America? This article explores the possible facets of the decline of U.S. influence in the region. It will start by examining whether, indeed, the United States' ability to shape outcomes or impose its preferences in the region has diminished or shifted in how it must conduct diplomacy. Second, it will examine the possible outcomes of diminished influence. Finally, this article will consider the times when there have been a convergence of values and interest between the United States and governments in the region, and the likely effect that diminished U.S. power will have on areas of common interest: democracy, human rights, and the peaceful resolution of intra-regional conflicts.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Ian Brown
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Global Online Freedom Act is one of the most comprehensive legislative attempts to protect online human rights. However, some civil society groups are concerned that certain controls could block the availability of tools useful for human rights activists in affected countries.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Author: Jiun Bang, David C. Kang
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: South Korea-Japan relations have been frozen for some time and despite the summer heat, no thaw appears likely anytime soon. Although economic interactions continue to deepen between the two countries, and although there is a clear desire – and even a need – to coordinate policies toward North Korea and China, the two countries appear more focused on other issues as their main foreign policy priorities in the short-term. The two recently elected leaders have yet to meet for a summit, a sign that even a symbolic attempt to repair relations is proving difficult. Japanese Prime Minister Abe has grown stronger with a rousing Liberal Democratic Party victory in Upper House elections, yet a number of rhetorical controversies kept attention focused on Abe's foreign policy, particularly toward Korea and China. To date not much has changed and there is little evidence that either Seoul or Tokyo desires improved relations.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: Japan, America, South Korea
  • Author: Benoît Mayer
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The 2009 Copenhagen Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC epitomizes the stalling of international negotiations on climate change mitigation and adaptation. In the grim days of climate change governance, the literature tends to neglect ethical arguments on the responsibility of polluting states. Rather, it turns to a desperate quest for 'whatever works'. This article addresses the development of a discipline round an emerging regime. It reviews in particular the principled approaches of climate governance, doctrinal analyses on mitigation, the shift from 'enforcement' to 'facilitation' and to 'liability', the fragmented governance of adaptation in the human rights, development and migration regimes, and innovative scholarship on the transnational regime complex concerning climate change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, International Law
  • Author: Rein Müllerson
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Although the sub-title of the book indicates that the authors are not going to deal with all the legal issues arising in the context of a 'privatization' of warfare, the book, and not only the first chapter by Eugenio Cusumano on the policy prospects of regulating private military and security companies (PMSCs), throws its net wider than the title suggests. And rightly so. The privatization of warfare is a consequence and an element of the post-Cold War triumph of capitalism, and especially its neo-liberal advocates' tendency to privatize and deregulate all and everything. It is not by chance that PMSCs have mushroomed in the heartland of neoliberalism – the USA – faithfully followed by its Anglo-Saxon brethren on this side of the Atlantic. As the book specifies, in 2009 there were approximately 119,706 Department of Defense contractors in Iraq, compared with about 134,571 uniformed personnel. The authors accept the privatization of various functions of the state, including its 'monopoly of violence', to be almost inevitable. Nevertheless, they call for stronger and tighter regulation of the status and functions of PMSCs and control over their activities. They also show that though often new norms may be needed, in many cases existing laws, and their stricter and sometimes more creative application, may serve the purpose. The book concludes that 'many private military and security companies are operating in a “gray zone”, which is not defined at all, or at the very least not clearly defined, by international legal norms'.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: David S. Maxwell
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: This article argues that to deal with North Korean provocations, the Alliance must take a holistic strategic approach to the entire North Korean problem. As long as the Kim family regime continues a strategic approach focused on regime survival, reunification of the peninsula under its control, attaining recognition as a nuclear power and trying to remove US forces from the peninsula, it will continue to use provocations as part of its strategy while oppressing its people and conducting illicit activities around the world. The Alliance has taken a piecemeal or stovepipe approach to the complex problems posed by North Korea with various organizations and senior officials responsible for a specific portfolio with no apparent effective synchronization among them. All activities of the Alliance must be focused on achieving an overall end state that is in concert with the 2009 Joint Vision Statement emphasizing peaceful reunification and ultimately answering the so called "Korea Question" that the 1953 Armistice said must be answered. By synchronizing ways and means toward this end, the Alliance can effectively deal with provocations while working to shape the conditions necessary for reunification. However, it must be understood that the foundation for the Alliance strategy rests upon readiness of the combined military forces.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Author: James I. Matray
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: This article describes the events surrounding the Second North Korean nuclear crisis that began in October 2002. It focuses attention particularly on identifying the reasons President George W. Bush decided to abandon the Agreed Framework of October 1994, as well as questioning the validity of his claim that Pyongyang's development of a Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) program justified the initiation of this confrontation. The article begins with a description of the factors that explain the Bush administration's adoption of "Hawk Engagement" as a strategy to achieve regime change in North Korea. It then covers the ongoing efforts to end the crisis, tracing negotiations at the Six-Party Talks beginning in August 2003 in Beijing. The article presents evidence to substantiate the judgment that Bush's hardline advisors were responsible for implementing a militant and aggressive policy that, rather than toppling Kim Jong Il's government, strained relations with South Korea, elevated the status of China in East Asia, and forced North Korea to expand its nuclear weapons program as an act of self-defense.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Korea
  • Author: Mathew Davies
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) has been welcomed as the most impressive commitment to protecting human rights within ASEAN ever created. At the same time, others have criticized it as fatally flawed, creating no meaningful regional oversight of human rights. In this article I argue that this range of reactions is explicable by understanding the Declaration as embodying what I term the “ASEAN synthesis” between progressive and traditionalist positions held by member states. Since 1997 the progressives have lobbied for substantial reform of ASEAN, including a commitment to human rights. The traditionalists, while not opposed to reform, envisage a traditional approach to regional affairs that prioritizes member-state security through commitments to sovereign equality and non-intervention. The ASEAN synthesis reconciles these two agendas by legitimizing the discussion of human rights within the regional framework while also reinforcing the principle of non-intervention, seriously curtailing the ability of regional institutions and declarations to engage in proactive rights protection. The argument unfolds in three parts. The discussion first identifies the members and interests of the progressive and traditionalist camps, placing them in the context of ASEAN's evolution since 1967 and with particular attention to the 1997 Financial Crisis as the trigger for their emergence. The second section examines the evolution of ASEAN from 1997-2012 and argues that this process can be understood as representing the synthesis of the progressive interest in human rights as aims and the traditionalist focus on orthodox practices. The final section examines the AHRD itself to reveal the influence of both interest groups
  • Topic: Human Rights, Financial Crisis
  • Author: Mauricio Mering, Jaime Hernandez Colorado
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On 4 January 2013, in the Mexican state of Guerrero, armed men calling themselves the “Ayutla de Los Libres Community Police Force” took self-defense into their own hands, sensing the inability of their government security forces to crack down on the violence of organized crime. In a total of nine states, the press has since documented additional community self-defense groups that have risen in response to the insecurity in Mexico, subsequently posing a challenge to the new government. This article examines the formation of community self-defense groups in light of the failures of the security policy implemented during the Felipe Calderón administration. This security policy resulted in the fragmentation of organized crime cartels and an increase in violence triggered by the diversification of criminal activities, leaving a trail of death, corruption, and human rights violations. The rise of these self-defense groups lends credit to the idea that vigilantes themselves can serve as an antidote to insecurity, particularly in rural communities. Across Mexico, groups seeking justice by their own hands have experienced widespread legitimacy, as exemplified by Javier Sicilia, who led the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity and demanded justice for the victims of Calderón's security policy; and Isabel Miranda, who became a Mexico City government PAN candidate in the 2012 elections after singlehandedly seeking and delivering her son's kidnappers to the authorities. These are just two cases of civilians who were victimized by organized crime and who therefore had to use every means necessary to mobilize society, highlighting the ineffective Mexican police force and the nation's judicial system. The leitmotif of urban social movements seeking for justice is not the same as that of the community police – but both are seeking justice and security because official security agencies have failed. Community self-defense groups are security corps composed by citizens working in their specific regions according to traditional rules and often recovering indigenous customs. These groups base their efforts upon civil society participation, solidarity, and other values that survive in rural Mexico, such as family relations, friendship, and social trust among the inhabitants of a town or region. It is important to state that these values as the basis of self-defense groups remain because members of these groups are members of the community too. The expansion of community groups is both old and new – these groups integrate romantic notions of justice with the more modern conception that society must participate in the fight against organized crime. These two opposing dimensions are harmonized in the wake of an ineffective security policy, forcing society to reach beyond public protest so as to organize community police groups…
  • Topic: Corruption, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Mexico
  • Author: Daniela Huber
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The momentous changes in the Middle East and North Africa have brought the issue of human rights and democracy promotion back to the forefront of international politics. The new engagement in the region of both the US and the EU can be scrutinised along three dimensions: targets, instruments and content. In terms of target sectors, the US and EU are seeking to work more with civil society. As for instruments, they have mainly boosted democracy assistance and political conditionality, that is utilitarian, bilateral instruments of human rights and democracy promotion, rather than identitive, multilateral instruments. The content of human rights and democracy promotion has not been revised.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, North Africa
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: As the senior State Department executive responsible for civilian security and human rights, what are the biggest challenges you face? Otero:we face a variety of challenges. Some are external to the State Department, while some are internal. Before I describe some of these, though, let me put them in context. essentially, part of Secretary Clinton's vision for 21st century statecraft consists of bringing together all of the bureaus in the State Department that in one way or another address the question of civilian security, or how we help governments and other elements of a democratic society strengthen institutions and legal frameworks that ultimately protect citizens from a range of modern threats. this includes bureaus that address the hard security issues of counterterrorism and war crimes, to those that handle what are considered soft security issues: human rights, democracy, rule of law, and humanitarian assistance. If we look at the Department as a whole, there are five bureaus and three offices that in some way respond to civilian security. these eight bureaus and offices handle a total of about 4.5 billion dollars in resources, and manage hundreds of employees around the world.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Chris Brown
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: The Post-War rise in importance of the individual in international political theory, as evidenced by the development of the international human rights regime, International Criminal Law and theories of global justice, has, paradoxically, been accompanied by an highly critical approach to the concept of human nature. Criticisms of human nature largely rest on the association of the concept of with social Darwinism, racism, sexism and eugenics, but, understood properly and at the right level of generality, the concept of human nature need not attract such undesirable, pseudo-scientific bedfellows. The modern science of evolutionary psychology is in the process of changing our understanding of the social implications of our genetic inheritance, and social and political theorists ought not to resist this change, and international relations scholars should not leave the field to realist scholars. Premature generalisations based on the findings of evolutionary psychology should certainly be resisted, but so should blanket rejections of the new knowledge. The task for international political theorists is to find a way of integrating the findings of the new human sciences into a humane understanding of the human animal.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: World Policy Journal
  • Institution: World Policy Institute
  • Abstract: G4S is the world's largest private military and security company, and the third-largerst private employer, trailing only Walmart and FoxConn. Over the last two decades, the industry has boomed as governments increasingly outsource core security and military tasks to private firms. The British company has received widespread condemnation from international humanitarian and labor groups for its recurrent negligence and record of human rights abuse. Through aggressive lobbying and a "revolving door" strategy of recruiting high profile politicians to fill advisory or board positions, G4S has entrenched itself in government, as well as boardrooms, as the go-to company for any military or security task.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Author: Peter Singer, Miyun Parker
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, articulates the idea that it is wrong to exclude any member of the human species from the circle of moral concern. This enlightened vision was a tremendous advance over earlier, more restricted views about who matters morally; yet it still excludes a far larger number of beings who can both enjoy life and suffer: nonhuman animals. They, or at least those capable of feeling pain, which at a minimum includes all vertebrates, are also entitled to concern. Pain is pain, irrespective of the species of the being that experiences it. Concern for the welfare of animals is not a new idea. In the fourth century BC, the Chinese Taoist philosopher Zhuangzi said that compassion should permeate relations not only between humans but also between all sentient beings. Buddhist teachings consider caring for all sentient beings a central ethical precept. The Indian emperor Ashoka, who ruled in the third century BC, issued edicts against the unnecessary killing and mutilation of animals, including hunting for sport. He also established animal hospitals and promoted, but did not require, a vegetarian diet. In seventeenth-century Japan, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, the so-called Dog Shogun, enacted various rules protecting animals, especially dogs. The Hebrew Bible requires that the Sabbath be a day of rest for oxen, as well as for humans, and other texts command Jews to relieve the suffering of animals, even if they belong to an enemy. The Koran, too, encourages Muslims to treat animals with kindness; the Prophet Muhammad is said to have cut off the sleeve of his shirt rather than disturb a cat who was sleeping on it.
  • Topic: Globalization, Human Rights
  • Author: Oana Florina Pop
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Central European University Political Science Journal
  • Institution: Central European University
  • Abstract: Although humanitarian intervention has been a recurrent issue in moral and political philosophy for some years, much disagreement over its moral justifiability persists among scholars. The common denominator of previous views is their reliance on the assumption that solving the moral problem of humanitarian intervention comes down to making a choice between preserving sovereignty or protecting human rights. The present thesis follows a different strategy: it proceeds from an understanding of the moral puzzle humanitarian intervention presents us with by exploring the philosophical underpinnings of sovereignty and human rights. I argue that humanitarian intervention is morally justified when human rights violations are purposive, systematic, extensive, and preventing or ending them represents an emergency, because it aims to restore a genuine form of sovereignty, consistent with its moral rationale (the sovereignty-centered argument). Additional requirements deriving from this purpose further constrain the justifiability of humanitarian intervention.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Maria St. Catherine De Grâce Sharpe
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Diplomatic Courier
  • Institution: The Diplomatic Courier
  • Abstract: Lifting the veil on the Vatican's gender apartheidic all-male “Human Rights” diplomacy – the Holy See's “Human Rights” diplomacy from the perspective of the "First Lady of Vatican/Holy See Pontifical Ecclesiastical Diplomacy.”00
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Mehdi Zakerian
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: A review of the events of the past decade and today's demands of the international community demonstrates how the expansion, inclusiveness and universality of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and United Nations Human Rights Covenants serve the common interests of all United Nations member states and nations. Moreover, the consensus of the international community on a series of rules such as the ban on torture and slavery, right to life, freedom of expression and alike - collectively known as fundamental rules of human rights - is inviolable. These two presumptions influence the institutionalization of human rights norms and support for human rights in every corner of the world, including Iran. For this purpose, which strategy can Iran make use of in the process of the universalization of human rights? While many international relations and international law scholars claim that the universality of human rights is a bridge connecting security and progress, putting aside this claim, we propose an answer to the key question of what Iran's optimum strategy towards the universality of human rights should be. This research argues that since every country's culture and native, age-old cultural, religious and national beliefs possess relative grounds of inclusiveness and universality, Iran's optimum strategy should be to seek a cross-cultural character of the fundamental rules of human rights. The author assesses the formation of human rights treaties and Iran's positions, cultural distinctions and types of universalities. Moreover, this study reviews the reservations about, and particular interpretations of human rights as well as theoretical and academic debates concerning the universality of human rights. Lastly, the author discusses cultural relativism and the impact of the cross-cultural character of the fundamental rules of human rights on compromise between relativism and universality of human rights.
  • Topic: International Relations, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Iran, United Nations, Tunisia
  • Author: Ahmed Samatar
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Macalester International
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: All phenomena, especially those that are the products of the human imagination and action, have a genetic code, even if the precise delineations and movements are not always easily accessible. Our contemporary concerns over human rights are no exception. In an important sense, the historical roots of our preoccupation with the welfare of the “other” could be linked to the coming of all major religious faiths. Reasserting the potential human capacity for empathy, many religions, in one version or another, attempt to convey to their adherents that sympathetic obligation is a virtue, if not a responsibility to fellow human beings.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Human Welfare
  • Author: Philip Alston
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Macalester International
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: From its relatively modest beginnings in 1945, the universal human rights regime has come a very long way. Few if any of those who drafted the apparently unthreatening, but nonetheless foundational, provisions of the United Nations Charter dealing with human rights would have imagined that less than seventy years later the Security Council would have taken action in relation to serious human rights violations in a significant range of countries, that governments would have established an International Criminal Court, or that there would be a wide range of mechanisms that regularly and routinely hold states to account for their human rights performance across a very wide range of issues. This is not, however, to suggest that many of the most egregious human rights problems have been radically ameliorated. They clearly have not. The subjugation of women is a continuing phenomenon in a great many societies, and gender equality remains an unachieved goal even in the most developed economies. Racial discrimination is a constant and forms of ethnic and religious discrimination continue to be both inventive and invidious. Hunger, the denial of basic health care, and access to decent housing are problems that persist on a vast scale around the world. In addition, torture, disappearances, and unlawful killings continue to take place in the majority of states.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United Nations
78. Response
  • Author: Caitlin Hannahan
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Macalester International
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: Professor Rebecca Cook's essay on the structures of discrimination tackles two common problems within Western human rights discourse. The first concerns the overwhelming scope of the concept of human rights whereas the second involves its perceived exoticism. In other words, the term human rights violations has degenerated into an umbrella phrase used to describe various crimes in other, far-reaching parts of the world. They are seen as disconnected and certainly unrelated to Western culture. Yet by making gender inequality a human rights issue, Cook identifies a problem that occurs in both the “West” and in the “Third World.” Secondly, by highlighting the cause of the perpetuation of gender inequality—namely stereotypes—she emphasizes a mode of thinking that is inherent in the individual. The result is a human rights violation that is both local and universal, and subsequently the responsibility of every individual on the planet. Gender inequality consequently becomes both a global and a local issue.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Author: James von Geldern
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Macalester International
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: When the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was drafted in 1998, it represented a signal moment in the history of human rights. Here, finally, was a document that not only enunciated humanitarian protections, it also offered a means to punish individuals guilty of violating them. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan called the Statute “a gift of hope to future generations, and a giant step forward in the march towards universal human rights and the rule of law.” Drafting Committee Chairman Cherif Bassiouni stressed that the world would never again be the same. This was the last step of a history that had started at the end of the First World War and meant that impunity for the perpetrators of grave crimes of international concern was no longer tolerable. It would not eliminate all conflicts or bring victims back to life, but it would bring justice.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United Nations
80. Response
  • Author: Proma Sen
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Macalester International
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: On a preliminary reading of “International Criminal Justice: Growing Pains or Incurable Contradictions,” by Professor James von Geldern, one understands that the debate about enforcement arises from the assumption of a pre-existing set of human rights concerns in the world today. Beyond the continuing debate surrounding the universal applicability versus the cultural relativism of these rights, the very existence of human rights in today's globalizing context leads to the question of how these rights can be protected and who is responsible for their enforcement? To date, the largest internationally accepted organization with the combined political power of multiple nations is the United Nations and its various sub-organizations. The highest global power seemingly permitted to pass cross-national judgments today is the International Criminal Court (ICC), formed by the Rome Statute, which was drafted in 1998. Yet the ICC has not convicted enough aggressors to truly be deemed a successful mechanism for justice.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Pierre Thielbörger
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article uses the case of the Libya intervention to address three general claims about international law. Firstly, it examines whether the reliance of the intervention on the mechanisms of collective security under the UN Charter suggests that international law relating to peace and security has finally overcome its post-9/11 crisis. It concludes that the resolution's vague wording – which makes the distinction between what is “legal” under the resolution, and what is not, hard to draw – undermines such an assumption. Secondly, it explores whether the Libya intervention has put new emphasis on what has been termed the “emerging right of democratic governance”. In spite of the underlying democracy-enhancing spirit of the execution of the intervention, Resolution 1973 was exclusively written in the language of human rights. It did little to indicate a changed attitude of States towards a norm of democratic governance. Finally, the article examines whether the case of Libya shows a renewed international attitude towards States which violate the most fundamental human rights of their citizens. The article concludes by suggesting that, in this third respect, a more muscular liberalism is indeed on the rise again in international law, challenging the formerly almighty concept of State sovereignty. In contributing to this subtle transformation, the Libyan case has made a genuine contribution to the development of the international legal order.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, International Law
  • Political Geography: America, Libya, United Nations
  • Author: Jens M. Iverson
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: According to the current jurisprudence of the International Criminal Court, Article 98 of the Rome Statute does not forbid the issuance of an arrest warrant for a sitting head of state. The African Union Commission vehemently objects to this reading of Article 98. Because it viewed the function of Article 98 as forbidding such arrest warrants, it views the current jurisprudence as effectively reading Article 98 out of the Statute, with no continuing function. This article demonstrates the continuing function of Article 98. This continuing function includes immunities resulting from agreements under Article 98(2), as well as customary immunities pertaining to property, persons, diplomatic immunity, and state immunity. Countering the rhetoric and providing a close analysis of the current state of Article 98 in ICC jurisprudence is useful, both with respect to understanding the current operation of Article 98 and to reflect on balancing multiple maximands of criminal law, human rights law, and the international law of immunity.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law
  • Political Geography: Africa, Rome
  • Author: Nicolas Klein
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Legal research conceptualized the relationship between International Investment Law (IIL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL) until recently rather as opposing fields of law with colliding policy interests as well as contradictory rules and regulations. However, lately a new approach is gaining increasing support in the academic community: Investment protection could be understood as being part of human rights law. Such a conclusion may be perceived as highly controversial, however, from a conceptual perspective IIL and IHRL share more common ground than differences. This article will argue, first, that certain material standards of IIL can be conceptualized to be human rights-like guarantees of a minimum standard of protection and second, that such an understanding does not lead to a neoliberal proliferation of economic rights but, to the contrary, may serve as an important conceptual tool to prevent overly extensive interpretations of investment treaties and to balance economic rights with other human rights in case of norm conflict. After all, IIL could prove to be not more, but also not less, than “One Out of a Crowd” of all other fundamental human rights.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, International Law
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Germany, Guinea
  • Author: Laurens Lavrysen
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: During the last two decades the European Union has become a major actor in the field of asylum law. Meanwhile, human rights law, in particular the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), has become of paramount importance in this field. This paper highlights certain areas of concern in the European Asylum System from the viewpoint of the ECHR. It particularly focuses on the Dublin II Regulation, the reception conditions and the detention of asylum seekers.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Law
  • Political Geography: Europe, Dublin
  • Author: Maria Victoria Cabrera Ormaza
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Indigenous Peoples have classically been defined in terms of their situation of vulnerability and discrimination traceable back to colonialism. The first international legal instruments addressing indigenous peoples are based on such an understanding, and emphasize special protection for indigenous peoples in order to preserve their cultural identity. This article describes this approach a human rights-based one, even though, at the national level, the label “indigenous” is sometimes also interpreted as a synonym of political power. Meanwhile, international environmental law has introduced what this author calls a “functional approach” recognizing the participatory role of indigenous communities in supporting environmental conservation and use of biodiversity. From a functional perspective, it is a logical consequence to include other local communities, albeit not “indigenous” in the classical sense. Thirdly, in the sector of development cooperation, international financial institutions (IFIs) have designed policies with the aim of assuring indigenous peoples the opportunity to be consulted when IFIfunded projects could entail a negative impact on indigenous communities. At first glance, it could be said that those policies were inspired by a human rights-based approach. However, from a holistic perspective, the role of indigenous peoples becomes a more functional one. This paper contributes a critical analysis of the role of indigenous peoples from these two approaches: the human rights-based approach and the functional approach. The author argues that a definition of indigenous peoples based on a humanrights approach should be understood as encompassing also other groups living in similarly vulnerable situations. Even though a functional approach to indigenous peoples responds better to the principle of equality, this approach should be more respectful to the cultural and social values of indigenous or local communities, from whom a particular behavior is expected in order to achieve certain goals.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law
  • Political Geography: North America
  • Author: Sebastiaan Vandenbogaerde
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Legal periodicals offer an opportunity to gaze on the daily pursuits of legal practitioners. By measuring the attention on a certain topic, it is possible to retrace to what extent it was deemed to be important for Belgian jurists. In this particular paper, a closer look will be taken at human rights and their relevance for Belgian legal practice. Therefore, research will be done in one of the most influential periodicals in Flanders: the Rechtskundig Weekblad. The attention on human rights, and more specific the European Convention of Human Rights, can give an impression of the importance of these rights for Belgian, and more specific, Flemish legal practice. As this periodical was preoccupied with the Flemish movement, its 'ideology' also affected its reporting of human rights. Thus, legal periodicals can be found at the crossroads of all actors in the legal world.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Herman Voogsgeerd
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Traditionally, fundamental human rights have occupied an important place in labor law. The ILO constitution of 1919 focuses, for example, on the right of freedom of association. Subsequent ILO documents stress other fundamental rights such as the right to non-discrimination in the field of labor. The fundamental rights of the worker did begin to get some attention in the EU too, especially in non-binding documents such as the Community Charter of the Rights of the Worker from 1989. Since the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009, the Charter of Fundamental Rights introduced at the summit in Nice is legally binding to the same extent as the EU Treaty itself. The Charter includes fundamental rights in the field of labor law under the heading 'solidarity'. In this article two basic questions will be addressed. The first question will address the 'old' issue of the clash between fundamental (labor) rights and the four economic freedoms of the EU, which are seen by the ECJ as of fundamental nature as well. Since the seminal cases of Viking and Laval, a lot has been written about this theme by both European and labor lawyers. I will not revisit the literature that has been written about these cases, but the more dogmatic issue of a (potential) clash between the four economic freedoms and the fundamental rights is still in need of clarification. The second question is whether the fundamental human rights will get a more important place in the case law of the European Court of Justice now that the Charter of Fundamental Rights is of binding character, or, will there be just a continuation of the already developed relationship between fundamental freedoms and rights or between two different kind of fundamental human rights? I will focus here on case law in the field of labor law. The article will finish with a plea for a proportionality test 'light' in order to limit the interference of EU law with the essence of fundamental rights.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, Law
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: David L. Richards
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Human Rights and Human Welfare - Review Essays
  • Institution: University of Denver - Graduate School of International Studies
  • Abstract: As a response to an emergent quantitatively-oriented research program over the past three decades investigating which human rights are respected/violated and why, there has been a growth in the number and sophistication of measures used to benchmark both overall human rights conditions and the human rights practices of governments. In Measuring Human Rights, Todd Landman and Edzia Carvalho provide a succinct and thoughtful introduction to the endeavor of human rights measurement.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Author: William Felice, Diana Fuguitt
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Human Rights and Human Welfare - Review Essays
  • Institution: University of Denver - Graduate School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Under the leadership of former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and former High Commissioner of Human Rights Mary Robinson, efforts were made to mainstream human rights throughout the entire U.N. system. Annan appealed to all U.N. specialized agencies and affiliated organizations to consider how their work was linked to the corpus of internationally recognized human rights in international law. In one of his last acts as Secretary-General, Annan called for basing new reforms at the U.N. on three notions of freedom: freedom from want, freedom from fear, and freedom to live a life with dignity (Annan 2005).
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Andrew F. March
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Addressing a set of normative questions surrounding the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Richard B. Miller takes as his starting point the claim that “9/11 raises moral questions about human rights, respect for persons, and the limits of toleration with vivid clarity . . . [and] puts in stark relief questions about the moral challenges of coexistence in an increasingly pluralistic public culture, questions concerning religious authorizations of violence, human rights, and the basis and limits of tolerating the intolerant” . Further, he tells us that “at stake are two related concerns: first, whether we may evaluate actions justified on terms that invoke religious warrants; second, how and on what terms those aggrieved by Islamic and other forms of terrorism may justifiably feel indignation”
  • Topic: Human Rights, Terrorism
  • Author: Nikita Lomagin
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Among the domestic interest groups that play a role in influencing Russian foreign policy the Russian Orthodox Church has become an important actor. Its most important role has been that of supporting the emergence of a new nationalist Russian identity to undergird Russian policy. On specific policy issues, it has advocated the political reunification of Eastern Slavic Orthodox peoples, the emergence of a multipolar international system and the restatement of traditional values as the foundation for the pursuit of global human rights.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Rana Siu Inboden, Titus C. Chen
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Over the past three decades, the People's Republic of China's response to international human rights pressure has been guided by its strong state identity, an identity that prioritised the pursuit of economic productivity, material power and international prestige. The goal of a strong socialist state led Beijing to participate in the UN human rights regime for strategic and diplomatic gains, and later to endorse human rights norms that were perceived as consistent with them. Accordingly, the PRC saw colonialism, imperialism, hegemonism, and racism as key human rights violations, while opposing the universality of human rights and rejecting intrusive human rights monitoring, deemed as detrimental to its strong state goal. After the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, China faced unprecedented international pressure and responded by challenging aspects of the human rights system. During negotiations to replace the UN Commission on Human Rights with the Human Rights Council, China again sought to shield itself from human rights pressure, primarily by challenging country specific approaches. Thus, instead of the normative influence leading to norm-compliant behaviour, China has sought to diminish human rights pressure and shape international human rights institutions in ways that are advantageous to its state interests.
  • Topic: Human Rights, United Nations
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Walter Lohman
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: In the course of two months in the fall of 2011, the President and his administration—particularly the Secretary of State—conducted a political and diplomatic offensive to prove American staying power in Asia. It marked a 180-degree turn from where the White House had begun three years earlier. The fall offensive began with the long-awaited passage of the Korea-U.S. FTA (KORUS), an agreement of major economic importance. After years of accumulated opportunity costs, in October, the administration finally pushed the agreement forward and arranged for South Korean President Lee Myun-bak to be in Washington for the occasion of its passage. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton framed the new approach in her November “America's Pacific Century” speech, wherein she declared the Administration's “Asia Pivot.”1 President Obama gave the approach authority and economic substance at APEC, where the U.S. secured a game-changing commitment from Japan to join the Transpacific Partnership trade pact (TPP). The President then embarked on his third visit to the Asia Pacific. In Australia, he announced new training rotations of up to 2,500 U.S. Marines through Australia's northern shore, a move with obvious implications for the security of our allies and sea lanes, and in Indonesia, he became the first American president to participate in the East Asian Summit (EAS). At the EAS meeting of 18 regional leaders, President Obama raised the importance of maritime security and freedom of navigation and “expressed strong opposition to the threat or use of force by any party to advance its territorial or maritime claims or interfere in legitimate economic activity”—thereby tying American interests to regional concerns about China. For her part, Secretary Clinton headed to Manila to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT)—and then on to America's other treaty ally in Southeast Asia, Thailand. In Manila Bay, she signed a reaffirmation of the U.S.-Philippines MDT on the deck of a U.S. Navy destroyer and essentially declared America ready to “fight” for the Philippines. She also announced the dispatch to Manila of the second (of what will likely be four) refurbished coast guard cutters. En route to Indonesia, President Obama phoned long-suffering Burmese human rights icon Aung San Suu Kyi to get her blessing for a Burma visit from Secretary Clinton. Clinton arrived in Burma by the end of November, meeting Suu Kyi and the Burmese president and beginning a careful, “action for action” process of normalization that could have major implications for the U.S. strategic position in the region. The Chinese have long taken advantage of Burma's isolation from the U.S. If Burmese political reform proves to be real, it will offer an opportunity for the U.S. to reassert itself there. It will also remove a roadblock in America's relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with which it has long disagreed on Burma. A democratic Burma would tip the scales in ASEAN—a hodgepodge of governing systems—in favor of democracy, a state of play that improves the sustainability of American engagement.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Japan, America, Washington, Asia, Australia, Korea
  • Author: Scott Snyder, See-Won Byun
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Senior-level dialogue between China and North Korea resumed this summer when head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) International Department Wang Jiarui became the first senior foreign visitor to meet Kim Jong Un. Previously, there had been a great deal of speculation regarding the absence of leadership exchanges since Kim Jong Il's death. Several other high- level exchanges followed. Discussions focused on reconciling priorities and Chinese support for Kim Jung Un's consolidation of power. Although more subdued, there were also several high- level exchanges between China and South Korea as they celebrated the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties, initiated talks on establishing a bilateral free trade agreement, held the second round of strategic defense talks, and sparred over South Korean concerns about human rights.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: China, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Ned Dobos
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: One of the most commonplace worries about humanitarian intervention relates to the perverse incentives that it might create, or the adverse reactions that it might provoke. For instance, it is sometimes said that by weakening the norm of sovereignty humanitarian intervention can encourage unscrupulous states to wage aggressive wars of self-interest using human rights as a pretense. It is feared, in other words, that humanitarian intervention — even when it has the purest motives — might ultimately do more harm than good by inciting unwanted reactions from other states or substate groups. I will refer to these kinds of knock-on effects as the mediated consequences of intervention. They are brought about via the interceding agency of parties other than the intervener.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Author: Ezequiel Jimenez
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Macalester International
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: In 1919, the Treaty of Versailles created an international tribunal in order to prosecute Kaiser Wilhelm II for initiating the First World War. However, the Kaiser sought refuge in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Queen Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Maria refused to cooperate with the new tribunal or surrender her cousin to the Allied Powers. Much has changed in the Netherlands since. As a pioneer country in the advancement of human rights, the Netherlands has participated actively in the development and enforcement of multiple treaties and conferences hosted by the United Nations. Today, the city of The Hague is proud to call itself an “international city of Peace and Justice.” Indeed, The Hague is the host of multiple international courts; evidencing the Netherlands commitment to protect human rights. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is one of the most prominent institutions the Netherlands honorably hosts.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Netherlands
  • Author: Christian Pangilinan
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The streets of Catmaran, a small town in Northern Samar province in the Philippines, seem wide compared to those of the capital, Manila. There is almost no traffic. Instead of dense rows of aluminum-roofed shacks, rough concrete houses, and stalls with plastic signs for soda and cell phone companies, green farms and bahay kubo, traditional thatch houses on stilts, border the roads. At first glance, the beaches look idyllic.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: America, Philippines
  • Author: Mahmood Jalali, Safoura Bani-Najarian
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: From the beginning of human life on earth, human needs have been crystallized in their relationship and interaction with each other. As a result of such an inter-relationship and interaction, it has been necessary for a body of law to exist that would specify humans' duties and obligations towards each other. Even though different regulations concerning human rights have been codified, human beings have not taken benefit from these rights on an equal basis. In fact, we see that throughout history, the oppressed have fought oppressors. In these protracted struggles, human beings continued to seek transcendental rights; rights they wanted to enjoy regardless of power and wealth, skin color and race. Based on this argument, if we look at the objectives and activities related to human rights, we can suggest that monotheistic religions also played a crucial part in promoting human rights. According to the findings of this research, although international law and Islamic international law both believe in the universality of human rights, without any doubt their nature and foundation differ. Nonetheless, there are numerous shared grounds and points between the two aforementioned bodies of law for whose study and utilization international human resources have to be used to forge unity and to protect world peace and security.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, International Law, Islam
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: John Cantius Mubangizi
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: African Journal of Legal Studies
  • Institution: The Africa Law Institute
  • Abstract: South Africa has faced enormous challenges since the advent of democracy in 1994. One of the difficulties in the post-apartheid era has been the building of a human rights culture in the context of substantial cultural diversity. In this paper, the constitutional, judicial and institutional contexts – which have consolidated and supported the expression of human rights in the face of cultural diversity – are reviewed. The focus on cultural rights in the constitution is discussed, and the relevance of several constitutional institutions in terms of ensuring human rights, is mentioned. With a clear understanding of the constitutional, judicial and institutional contexts in place, the paper discusses the potentially inherent conflict between human rights and cultural rights, using gender-related issues as a proxy. Several examples of this potential conflict are discussed, including female circumcision, virginity testing and polygamy. The importance of human rights education for informing the debate about cultural and human rights in South Africa is emphasized. The answers to the challenges associated with the clash between cultural rights and human rights are not simple, although pragmatically – in addition to the role of the available constitutional, judicial and institutional structures – they could reside in a cross-cultural debate.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: South Africa
  • Author: Muhammad Azam, Sagheer Ahmad Khan
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: Advanced democracies, including the United States, have been championing democratic promotion around the world. In the past, American policy towards the Arab Middle East, however, had been mainly based on just paying lip-service to democracy sans concrete measures for promoting a democratic culture in the region. The events of 9/11 marked a watershed in the history of US foreign policy towards the region. Facing calls for a democratic Arab World from home and abroad in the wake of 9/11 the US government raised the ante for pushing democracy in the Arab Middle East. The rhetoric and emphasis laid on 'democracy in the Arab World' by the American leadership over the years after 9/11 was unprecedented. This study deals with the visible shift in US foreign policy vis-à-vis democracy in the region, focusing on the six GCC states, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. In addition to American approach and strategy, practical measures taken in the areas of politics, economy, education, media, civil society, and human rights is also furnished. An effort is made to understand and highlight the methods and tools employed by the foreign democracy promoters, both at the levels of state and society. However, a large part of the study appertains to the activities conducted at the grass-roots level. The study is comparative in its nature, based on empirical analysis.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Kuwait, Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman