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  • Author: James W. Nickel
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Like people born shortly after World War II, the international human rights movement recently had its sixty-fifth birthday. This could mean that retirement is at hand and that death will come in a few decades. After all, the formulations of human rights that activists, lawyers, and politicians use today mostly derive from the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the world in 1948 was very different from our world today: the cold war was about to break out, communism was a strong and optimistic political force in an expansionist phase, and Western Europe was still recovering from the war. The struggle against entrenched racism and sexism had only just begun, decolonization was in its early stages, and Asia was still poor (Japan was under military reconstruction, and Mao's heavy-handed revolution in China was still in the future). Labor unions were strong in the industrialized world, and the movement of women into work outside the home and farm was in its early stages. Farming was less technological and usually on a smaller scale, the environmental movement had not yet flowered, and human-caused climate change was present but unrecognized. Personal computers and social networking were decades away, and Earth's human population was well under three billion.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, International Political Economy, Sovereignty, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, Asia, United Nations
  • Author: Roger Smith
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: This new book from Larry May is not a study of genocide, but rather an attempt to draw attention to the conceptual and practical difficulties and ''puzzles'' of conceptualizing and prosecuting genocide under international law. May also argues for expanding the list of groups that are protected under international law against genocide to include gender, culture, and language in addition to race, ethnicity, religion, and national origin. The book's central thesis, however, is that genocide is not ''the crime of crimes,'' and that it differs little from various crimes against humanity. May reminds us that under international law genocide does not necessarily even involve killing, and he goes on to ask why it should be regarded as worse than other crimes committed systematically against civilians. Since genocide is about the destruction of groups, not individuals, what is special about groups, and what is the ''unique harm'' that genocide involves as a result of the destruction of a group?
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Will Kymlicka
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Since 1989 we have witnessed a proliferation of efforts to develop international norms of the rights of ethnocultural minorities, such as the UN's 1992 Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, the Council of Europe's 1995 Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, and the Organization of American States' 1997 draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This activity at the level of international law is reflected in a comparable explosion of interest in minority rights among normative political theorists. In the same twenty-year period we have seen a proliferation of attempts at formulating a normative theory of minority rights and examining how minority rights relate to broader political values (such as freedom, equality, democracy, and citizenship) and broader normative frameworks (such as liberalism, communitarianism, and republicanism). Key works here include those by Charles Taylor, Jim Tully, Iris Young, Jeff Spinner-Halev, Bhikhu Parekh, Yael Tamir, Joseph Carens, Susan Okin, and Anne Phillips—a rich literature that has informed and inspired my own work in the field.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Jessica Wolfendale
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Although the term "torture lite" is frequently used to distinguish between physically mutilating torture and certain interrogation methods that are supposedly less severe, the distinction is not recognized in international law.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: United States