Search results

The promotion of human rights in international politics
Author: M. Anne Brown

This book argues for greater openness in the ways we approach human rights and international rights promotion, and in so doing brings some new understanding to old debates. Starting with the realities of abuse rather than the liberal architecture of rights, it casts human rights as a language for probing the political dimensions of suffering. Seen in this context, the predominant Western models of right generate a substantial but also problematic and not always emancipatory array of practices. These models are far from answering the questions about the nature of political community that are raised by the systemic infliction of suffering. Rather than a simple message from ‘us’ to ‘them’, then, rights promotion is a long and difficult conversation about the relationship between political organisations and suffering. Three case studies are explored: the Tiananmen Square massacre, East Timor's violent modern history and the circumstances of indigenous Australians. The purpose of these discussions is not to elaborate on a new theory of rights, but to work towards rights practices that are more responsive to the spectrum of injury that we inflict and endure.

Dominant approaches
M. Anne Brown

THE IDEA OF human rights covers a complex and fragmentary terrain. As R. J. Vincent comments near the beginning of his work on human rights in international relations, ‘human rights’ is a readily used term that has become a ‘staple of world politics’, the meaning of which is by no means self-evident (1986: 7). After glossing the term as the ‘idea that humans have rights’ (1986: 7) – a deceptively simple approach – Vincent notes that this is a profoundly contested territory, philosophically as well as politically. This is not surprising, as

in Human rights and the borders of suffering
An Interview with Celso Amorim, Former Brazilian Foreign Minister
Juliano Fiori

decorated living Brazilian diplomat. As we began discussing international affairs and strategy, Amorim’s speech assumed a calm, professorial cadence. ‘Global disorder’ undermines international cooperation, he suggested soberly. And there is a need to rescue human rights discourse, despite the hypocrisy and selectivity of its liberal proponents. Amorim leant forward when I brought up Brazil’s recent withdrawal from the world stage. As foreign minister throughout the two presidential terms of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, from 2003 to 2011, he guided

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order
Stephen Hopgood

practicality prevents it). This is the same foundational commitment that animates human rights work. The humanist core to both of these forms of social practice is a similar kind of belief in the ultimate priority of moral claims made by human beings as human beings rather than as possessors of any markers of identity or citizenship. What differences exist between humanitarianism and human rights are largely sociological – the contextual specifics of the evolution of two different forms of social activism. I have argued elsewhere, for example, that

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Timothy Longman

Introduction Beginning in 1990, the small Central African country of Rwanda was shaken by a pro-democracy movement and a rebel invasion, led by exiled members of the minority Tutsi ethnic group. The government responded to the dual pressures of protest and war by offering political reforms while simultaneously seeking to regain popularity with the members of the majority Hutu group by stirring up anti-Tutsi ethnic sentiments. Both a number of new domestic human rights groups and international human rights organisations documented the regime’s repression of

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A guide for A2 politics students
Series: Understandings
Authors: Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

In liberal democracies there is a belief that citizens ought to take an active interest in what is happening in the political world. Political debate in modern Western democracies is a complex and often rowdy affair. There are three fundamental political issues: 'politics', 'power' and 'justice', which feature in almost all political discussions and conflicts. The book assesses the degree to which the state and state sovereignty are disappearing in the modern world of 'globalised' politics, economics and culture and new international institutions. The main features of the nation and the problems of defining it are outlined: population, culture, history, language, religion, and race. Different types of democracy and their most important features are discussed. 'Freedom' is usually claimed to be the prime objective of political activity. The book discusses equality of human rights, distributional equality, equality before the law, the claims for group equality on the grounds of race, gender, class. Rights, obligations and citizenship are closely associated. Ideology is the driving force of political discourse. The book also discusses nationalism's growth and development over the last two centuries with particular reference to its main features and assumptions. It outlines the development of conservatism as a political ideology and movement in Britain during the last two centuries. An overview of liberalism, socialism, Marxism, anarchism, and Fascism follows. Environmentalism and feminism are also discussed. Finally, the book talks about how ideological change occurs and stresses the importance of rationality in politics.

M. Anne Brown

THIS BOOK’S ARGUMENT takes as its point of departure the question of how to promote human rights observance in international life. The whole complex business of international human rights promotion is not approached here as a particularly ‘innocent’ enterprise. On the contrary, the various philosophical and ethical claims of rights promotion, its actual as well as proclaimed political functions, outcomes and implications – what could be summed up as the ‘virtue’ of the enterprise in entirety or in part – can be readily questioned from many

in Human rights and the borders of suffering
Current policy options and issues
Jenny H. Peterson

against the American company, alleging that gross human rights abuses were committed as the company worked with the Burmese government to secure a pipeline project (Hoffman, 2005). Although this case was eventually resolved through a confidential settlement as opposed to a court ruling, the ability of the claimants to bring the case to the American courts in the first place undoubtedly had a strong impact on the final settlement. It is also possible that international legal venues such the International Criminal Court (ICC) and special war crimes tribunals could in the

in Building a peace economy?
Open Access (free)
War economies, peace economies and transformation
Jenny H. Peterson

for some warring parties to wage campaigns of violence and human rights abuses. (Government of Canada, 2009) DIAMONDS in Africa, drug cartels in Latin America and the participation of warlords in Afghanistan’s illicit opium trade have heightened both public and academic awareness of the problem of war economies – systems in which economic incentives either motivate actors to instigate and participate in political violence or which facilitate ongoing conflict by providing a means of financing violent struggle. Policy statements such as the one presented above, along

in Building a peace economy?
Learning from the case of Kosovo
Jenny H. Peterson

/security Parallel structures in Serbian areas make it difficult for UNMIK/PISG and newly independent government to govern Political corruption Criminal groups influencing political parties the OSCE and KPS adds to this, finding that ‘organised crime has gained an increasingly prominent role in Kosovo . . . These illicit activities are affecting all levels of society as they challenge human rights protection, undermine democratisation processes, disrespect the rule of law and interfere with institution building, reform efforts and potential investment in Kosovo’ (OSCE, KPSS and

in Building a peace economy?