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1 Burnside International Studies- Human Rights

Universal Rights Down to Earth (Amnesty International Global Ethics)

by

Universal Rights Down to Earth (Amnesty International Global Ethics) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The idea of universal rights—rights shared by all citizens, regardless of nationality, creed, wealth, or geography—has a powerful grip on the way many people feel about justice and global politics. No one should be subjected to torture or disappearance, to starvation or sex trafficking, to economic exploitation or biased treatment under the law. But when it comes to actually enforcing these rights, the results rarely resemble the ideal.

In Universal Rights Down to Earth, acclaimed author and legal expert Richard Thompson Ford reveals how attempts to apply “universal” human rights principles to specific cultures can hinder humanitarian causes and sometimes even worsen conditions for citizens. In certain regions, human rights ideals clash with the limits of institutional capabilities or civic culture; elsewhere, rights enforcement leads to further human rights violations. And in some countries, offending regimes use human rights commitments to distract attention from or justify their other abuses. Ford explores how our haste to identify every ideal as a universal right devalues rights as a whole, so that even the most important protections—such as that against torture—become negotiable.

In clear, persuasive prose, Ford explores cases ranging from food distribution to the poor in India to sex work in Japan, illustrating how a rights-based approach to these problems often impedes more effective measures—the pragmatic politics of cost weighing, compromise, and collective action. The bad news is that improving lives worldwide isn’t as easy as making a declaration. But the good news, as Universal Rights Down to Earth powerfully demonstrates, is that if we are clear-eyed and culturally aware, it can be done.

Synopsis:

A path-blazing lesson on how to reconcile lofty human rights ambitions with political and cultural realities.

Synopsis:

The idea of universal rights—rights shared by all citizens, regardless of nationality, creed, wealth, or geography—has a powerful grip on the way many people feel about justice and global politics. No one should be subjected to torture or disappearance, to starvation or sex trafficking, to economic exploitation or biased treatment under the law. But when it comes to actually enforcing these rights, the results rarely resemble the ideal.

In Universal Rights Down to Earth, acclaimed author and legal expert Richard Thompson Ford reveals how attempts to apply “universal” human rights principles to specific cultures can hinder humanitarian causes and sometimes even worsen conditions for citizens. In certain regions, human rights ideals clash with the limits of institutional capabilities or civic culture; elsewhere, rights enforcement leads to further human rights violations. And in some countries, offending regimes use human rights commitments to distract attention from or justify their other abuses. Ford explores how our haste to identify every ideal as a universal right devalues rights as a whole, so that even the most important protections—such as that against torture—become negotiable.

In clear, persuasive prose, Ford explores cases ranging from food distribution to the poor in India to sex work in Japan, illustrating how a rights-based approach to these problems often impedes more effective measures—the pragmatic politics of cost weighing, compromise, and collective action. The bad news is that improving lives worldwide isn’t as easy as making a declaration. But the good news, as Universal Rights Down to Earth powerfully demonstrates, is that if we are clear-eyed and culturally aware, it can be done.

Synopsis:

The acclaimed author of The Race Card and legal scholar Richard Thompson Ford offers an expert analysis of human rights struggles across the globe, uncovering the complex realities of observing universal principles in specific cultures. As he engages thinkers such as Edmund Burke and Karl Marx, Ford sketches divergent views on how we define rights before he offers his critique: on the ground, rights ultimately depend on a dense network of institutions and an underlying civic culture for enforcement. In fact, even well-meaning reforms can lead in practice to increased exploitation of the people they would protect.With a clear, persuasive voice, Ford explores five cases from distributing food to the poor in India to sex-trafficking in Japan and drives home a provocative conclusion. We must engage locally in local laws, institutions, and social relationships to realize meaningful change. And those who would speak truth to power must also acknowledge the potential costs of reform.

About the Author

Richard Thompson Ford is the George E. Osborne Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. He has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, and Slate.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393343397
Author:
Ford, Richard Thompson
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Subject:
Politics-Human Rights
Series:
Norton Global Ethics Series
Publication Date:
20121231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
160
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
History and Social Science » Politics » Human Rights
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » Sociology » General

Universal Rights Down to Earth (Amnesty International Global Ethics) Used Trade Paper
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$10.95 In Stock
Product details 160 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393343397 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A path-blazing lesson on how to reconcile lofty human rights ambitions with political and cultural realities.
"Synopsis" by , The idea of universal rights—rights shared by all citizens, regardless of nationality, creed, wealth, or geography—has a powerful grip on the way many people feel about justice and global politics. No one should be subjected to torture or disappearance, to starvation or sex trafficking, to economic exploitation or biased treatment under the law. But when it comes to actually enforcing these rights, the results rarely resemble the ideal.

In Universal Rights Down to Earth, acclaimed author and legal expert Richard Thompson Ford reveals how attempts to apply “universal” human rights principles to specific cultures can hinder humanitarian causes and sometimes even worsen conditions for citizens. In certain regions, human rights ideals clash with the limits of institutional capabilities or civic culture; elsewhere, rights enforcement leads to further human rights violations. And in some countries, offending regimes use human rights commitments to distract attention from or justify their other abuses. Ford explores how our haste to identify every ideal as a universal right devalues rights as a whole, so that even the most important protections—such as that against torture—become negotiable.

In clear, persuasive prose, Ford explores cases ranging from food distribution to the poor in India to sex work in Japan, illustrating how a rights-based approach to these problems often impedes more effective measures—the pragmatic politics of cost weighing, compromise, and collective action. The bad news is that improving lives worldwide isn’t as easy as making a declaration. But the good news, as Universal Rights Down to Earth powerfully demonstrates, is that if we are clear-eyed and culturally aware, it can be done.
"Synopsis" by , The acclaimed author of The Race Card and legal scholar Richard Thompson Ford offers an expert analysis of human rights struggles across the globe, uncovering the complex realities of observing universal principles in specific cultures. As he engages thinkers such as Edmund Burke and Karl Marx, Ford sketches divergent views on how we define rights before he offers his critique: on the ground, rights ultimately depend on a dense network of institutions and an underlying civic culture for enforcement. In fact, even well-meaning reforms can lead in practice to increased exploitation of the people they would protect.With a clear, persuasive voice, Ford explores five cases from distributing food to the poor in India to sex-trafficking in Japan and drives home a provocative conclusion. We must engage locally in local laws, institutions, and social relationships to realize meaningful change. And those who would speak truth to power must also acknowledge the potential costs of reform.
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