Liberals and Cannibals: The Implications of Diversity [EPUB]
03 February 2017, 22:50
2017 | EPUB | 0.7MB
Steven Lukes confronts liberal thought with its own limitations.
The essays in this collection focus on the perennial but newly urgent questions of how the tension between relativism and the moral universalism current in contemporary politics can be resolved within the framework of liberalism. How is liberal society to interpret the diversity of morals? Is pluralism the appropriate response? How does pluralism differ from the widely condemned relativism – more specifically, the double bind of ethnocentric universalism, or 'liberalism for the Liberals, cannibalism for the cannibals.'
Taking as his starting point Robert Frost's accusation that a liberal is someone who can't take his own side in an argument, Steven Lukes confronts liberal thought with its own limitations. While recognizing the dangers of moral imperialism, Lukes argues that a relativist position based on identifying clearly distinct cultural and moral communities is incoherent. Drawing on work in anthropology and philosophy, he examines the nature of social justice, the politics of identity and human rights theory, as well as discussing how ideas drawn from the work of Isaiah Berlin can shed light on these debates.
Seeing the Myth in Human Rights [EPUB]
03 February 2017, 14:32
2016 | EPUB | 0.3MB
The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been called one of the most powerful documents in human history. Today, the mere accusation of violations of the rights outlined in this document cows political leaders and riles the international community. Yet as a nonbinding document with no mechanism for enforcement, it holds almost no legal authority. Indeed, since its adoption, the Declaration's authority has been portrayed not as legal or political but as moral. Rather than providing a set of rules to follow or laws to obey, it represents a set of standards against which the world's societies are measured. It has achieved a level of rhetorical power and influence unlike anything else in modern world politics, becoming the foundational myth of the human rights project.
Seeing the Myth in Human Rights presents an interdisciplinary investigation into the role of mythmaking in the creation and propagation of the Universal Declaration. Pushing beyond conventional understandings of myth, which tend to view such narratives as vehicles either for the spreading of particular religious dogmas or for the spreading of erroneous, even duplicitous, discourses, Jenna Reinbold mobilizes a robust body of scholarship within the field of religious studies to help us appreciate myth as a mode of human labor designed to generate meaning, solidarity, and order. This usage does not merely parallel today's scholarship on myth; it dovetails in unexpected ways with a burgeoning body of scholarship on the origin and function of contemporary human rights, and it puts the field of religious studies into conversation with the fields of political philosophy, critical legal studies, and human rights historiography. For Reinbold, myth is a phenomenon that is not merely germane to the exploration of specific religious narratives but is key to a broader understanding of the nature of political authority in the modern world.
The Breakthrough: Human Rights in the 1970s [EPUB]
02 February 2017, 14:30
2013 | EPUB | 1.8MB
Between the 1960s and the 1980s, the human rights movement achieved unprecedented global prominence. Amnesty International attained striking visibility with its Campaign Against Torture; Soviet dissidents attracted a worldwide audience for their heroism in facing down a totalitarian state; the Helsinki Accords were signed, incorporating a "third basket" of human rights principles; and the Carter administration formally gave the United States a human rights policy.
The Breakthrough is the first collection to examine this decisive era as a whole, tracing key developments in both Western and non-Western engagement with human rights and placing new emphasis on the role of human rights in the international history of the past century. Bringing together original essays from some of the field's leading scholars, this volume not only explores the transnational histories of international and nongovernmental human rights organizations but also analyzes the complex interplay between gender, sociology, and ideology in the making of human rights politics at the local level. Detailed case studies illuminate how a number of local movements—from the 1975 World Congress of Women in East Berlin, to antiapartheid activism in Britain, to protests in Latin America—affected international human rights discourse in the era as well as the ways these moments continue to influence current understanding of human rights history and advocacy. The global south—an area not usually treated as a scene of human rights politics—is also spotlighted in groundbreaking chapters on Biafran, South American, and Indonesian developments. In recovering the remarkable presence of global human rights talk and practice in the 1970s, The Breakthrough brings this pivotal decade to the forefront of contemporary scholarly debate.
Contributors: Carl J. Bon Tempo, Gunter Dehnert, Celia Donert, Lasse Heerten, Patrick William Kelly, Benjamin Nathans, Ned Richardson-Little, Daniel Sargent, Brad Simpson, Lynsay Skiba, Simon Stevens.