Global Good Samaritans: Human Rights as Foreign Policy

Paperback | March 18, 2009

byAlison Brysk

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In a troubled world where millions die at the hands of their own governments and societies, some states risk their citizens' lives, considerable portions of their national budgets, and repercussions from opposing states to protect helpless foreigners. Dozens of Canadian peacekeepers have diedin Afghanistan defending humanitarian reconstruction in a shattered faraway land with no ties to their own. Each year, Sweden contributes over $3 billion to aid the world's poorest citizens and struggling democracies, asking nothing in return. And, a generation ago, Costa Rica defied U.S. power tobroker a peace accord that ended civil wars in three neighboring countries - and has now joined with principled peers like South Africa to support the United Nations' International Criminal Court, despite U.S. pressure and aid cuts. Hundreds of thousands of refugees are alive today because they havebeen sheltered by one of these nations.Global Good Samaritans looks at the reasons why and how some states promote human rights internationally, arguing that humanitarian internationalism is more than episodic altruism - it is a pattern of persistent principled politics. Human rights as a principled foreign policy defies the realistprediction of untrammeled pursuit of national interest, and suggests the utility of constructivist approaches that investigate the role of ideas, identities, and influences on state action. Brysk shows how a diverse set of democratic middle powers, inspired by visionary leaders and strong civilsocieties, came to see the linkage between their long-term interest and the common good. She concludes that state promotion of global human rights may be an option for many more members of the international community and that the international human rights regime can be strengthened at theinterstate level, alongside social movement campaigns and the struggle for the democratization of global governance.

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In a troubled world where millions die at the hands of their own governments and societies, some states risk their citizens' lives, considerable portions of their national budgets, and repercussions from opposing states to protect helpless foreigners. Dozens of Canadian peacekeepers have diedin Afghanistan defending humanitarian recons...

Alison Brysk is Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of California-Irvine. She has authored or edited six books on international human rights. In 2007, she held the Fulbright Distinguished Visiting Chair in Global Governance at the University of Waterloo Centre for International Governance Innovat...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.68 inPublished:March 18, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195381580

ISBN - 13:9780195381580

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Table of Contents

Index1. Introduction: States as Global Citizens2. Why and How They Do It: Reconstructing the National Interest3. The Gold Standard: Sweden4. The Other America: Canada5. The Little Country That Could: Costa Rica6. The Netherlands: Globalization and its Discontents7. Peace Without Justice: Japan8. From Pariah to Promoter: South Africa9. Coalitions of the Caring: Inter-State Networks for Human Rights10. Conclusion: "The World Needs More Canada"BibliographyEndnotesIndex