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Other titles in the Stanford Studies in Human Rights series:
Human Rights Matters (08 Edition)by Julie A. Mertus
Synopses & ReviewsPlease note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.
Among human rights advocates, dominant wisdom holds that the promotion and protection of human rights relies not on international efforts, but on domestic action. International institutions may capture news headlines, but it is national groups that effectively shape local expectations and ultimately make human rights matter.
Through a series of case studies and an extensive range of interviews with the administrators and constituencies of national human rights institutions, Julie Mertus offers a close look at the day-to-day workings of these groups. She presents an unusual and lively set of European cases—examining Bosnia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, and Northern Ireland—to illustrate how local culture matters in promoting human rights.
But even with the obvious successes of these institutions, Mertus offers a cautionary tale. National institutions are incredibly difficult to design and operate, and they are only as good as the domestic political and economic factors will allow. It is too frequently seen that the countries most supportive of human rights on the world stage may prove to be highly disappointing back home.
Book News Annotation:
Mertus (ethics, peace, and global affairs; American U.) examines the widely held belief that the power of domestic rights bodies to influence the lived reality of people experiencing human wrongs far exceeds the practical impact of the international bodies, which garner much more attention. She focuses on a particular type, the national human rights institution, which are often modest in design, pragmatic in their approach, and limited in their immediate impact, but hold the promise of being a practical link between international standards and their concrete applications. Drawing on interviews with participants, she looks at bodies in Denmark, Northern Ireland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, and Germany. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Examines the effectiveness of national human rights institutions in promoting and protecting human rights through a series of comparative case studies.
About the Author
Julie A. Mertus is Associate Professor and Co-Director of the MA program in Ethics, Peace and Global Affairs at American University. Her seven books include, The United Nations and Human Rights (2005) and Bait and Switch: Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy (2004), which was named Human Rights Book of the Year by the American Political Science Association Human Rights Section.
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