This extensively revised and updated edition critically re-examines the contemporary discourses on the nature of 'human rights', their histories, and the myths that are embedded in them. It contributes an alternative reading of those histories by placing the corners and interests of the 'people in struggle and communities of resistance' at centre stage.
The author's abiding concern is the cold reality that despite the last century being justly described as the century of human rights, the 'rightless and suffering peoples' still remain; he thus analyses the gulf between the actuality and possibilities for the future. He goes on to examine the significance of the UN and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Further, he studies the more contemporary issues such as women's struggle to feminize the understanding and practice of human rights, the post-modernist critique of the universal idiom of human rights and, most pertinently for the current world scene, the impact of globalization on the human rights movement.
This discussion provides a wide-ranging overview of scholarly work on the subject of human rights from Europe and America, as well as from Asia and Africa. The new edition includes a discussion of the proposed United Nations norms regarding the human rights responsibilities of multinational corporations and other business entities.
This volume is essential reading for scholars and students of human rights and law, political science, policymakers, activists, and NGOs.
Experts from Reviews:
at the end of the battle with [Baxi's] words and thoughts you gain an unusual wealth of ideas, the once original, elevating and vigorous.
.Those profound concern for the human condition will learn much more from every page.'
- V.R. Krishan Iyer, Hindu
[His] guiding motif, namely, the idea of human suffering and its often 'difficult relationship with human rights'
like a round bass in a Purcell lament, sounds continually throughout the book
rather than asking what we can do for human rights, he asks what human rights can do for the suffering
provocative and bubbling with ideas
- Human Rights Law Review
a devastating critique of the predominant mode of complacent, self-congratulatory narratives that dominate much human rights literature.'
- William Twining
a complex book which defies simple synopsis either of its aims or contents. It has much to recommended it, in particular the sociological analysis of the effects of marketization or globalization on the international practice of human rights
deals with issues of great and enduring importance of human rights and international law more generally.'
- German Law Journal
About the Author:
Upendra Baxi is professor of Law, School of Law, University of Warwick. He was formerly Professor of Law, Faculty of Law and Vice-Chancellor, University of Delhi, Delhi.
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