The Human Rights Paradox: Universality And Its Discontents

Paperback | April 29, 2014

EditorStern, Steve J., Scott Straus

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Human rights are paradoxical. Advocates across the world invoke the idea that such rights belong to all people, no matter who or where they are. But since humans can only realize their rights in particular places, human rights are both always and never universal.
            The Human Rights Paradox is the first book to fully embrace this contradiction and reframe human rights as history, contemporary social advocacy, and future prospect. In case studies that span Africa, Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, and the United States, contributors carefully illuminate how social actors create the imperative of human rights through relationships whose entanglements of the global and the local are so profound that one cannot exist apart from the other. These chapters provocatively analyze emerging twenty-first-century horizons of human rights—on one hand, the simultaneous promise and peril of global rights activism through social media, and on the other, the force of intergenerational rights linked to environmental concerns that are both local and global. Taken together, they demonstrate how local struggles and realities transform classic human rights concepts, including “victim,” “truth,” and “justice.”
            Edited by Steve J. Stern and Scott Straus, The Human Rights Paradox enables us to consider the consequences—for history, social analysis, politics, and advocacy—of understanding that human rights belong both to “humanity” as abstraction as well as to specific people rooted in particular locales.

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Human rights are paradoxical. Advocates across the world invoke the idea that such rights belong to all people, no matter who or where they are. But since humans can only realize their rights in particular places, human rights are both always and never universal.             The Human Rights Paradox is the first book to fully embrace t...

Steve J. Stern is the Alberto Flores Galindo and Hilldale Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He received the Bolton-Johnson Prize from the Conference in Latin American History in 2007 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012. Scott Straus is a professor of political science and inte...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:274 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:April 29, 2014Publisher:University Of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299299740

ISBN - 13:9780299299743

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Embracing Paradox: Human Rights in the Global Age                       
            Steve J. Stern and Scott Straus
 
Part I. Who Makes Human Rights?
1 Human Rights History from the Ground Up: The Case of East Timor                 
            Geoffrey Robinson
2 Rights on Display: Museums and Human Rights Claims              
            Bridget Conley-Zilkic
3 Civilian Agency in Times of Crisis: Lessons from Burundi                       
            Meghan Foster Lynch
 
Part II. Interrogating Classic Concepts
4 Consulting Survivors: Evidence from Cambodia, Northern Uganda, and Other Countries Affected by Mass Violence               
            Patrick Vinck and Phuong N. Pham
5 "Memoria, Verdad y Justicia": The Terrain of Post-Dictatorship Social Reconstruction and the Struggle for Human Rights in Argentina                     
            Noa Vaisman
6 The Paradoxes of Accountability: Transitional Justice in Peru                  
            Jo-Marie Burt
 
Part III. New Horizons
7 The Aporias of New Technologies for Human Rights Activism               
            Fuyuki Kurasawa
8 The Human Right to Water in Rural India: Promises and Challenges                    
            Philippe Cullet
9 A Very Promising Species: From Hobbes to the Human Right to Water              
            Richard P. Hiskes
 
Acknowledgments                 
Contributors              
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Refreshingly, the editors do not pretend to rewrite the field. As Stern and Straus explain in the introduction, the purpose is to open the door to more fruitful scholarship and innovative thinking about human rights. In this, the book succeeds overwhelmingly.”—H-Net