Making Human Rights a Reality by Emilie M. Hafner-Burton

By Emilie M. Hafner-Burton

Within the final six a long time, some of the most notable advancements in foreign legislations is the emergence of an incredible physique of felony norms and systems aimed toward conserving human rights. in lots of international locations, although, there's little courting among overseas legislations and the particular defense of human rights at the floor. Making Human Rights a Reality takes a clean examine why it's been so not easy for foreign legislations to have a lot influence in components of the realm the place human rights are such a lot at risk.

Emilie Hafner-Burton argues that extra development is feasible if human rights promoters paintings strategically with the crowd of states that experience devoted assets to human rights defense. those human rights "stewards" can concentration their assets on locations the place the tangible advantages to human rights are maximum. good fortune would require environment priorities in addition to attractive neighborhood stakeholders similar to nongovernmental agencies and nationwide human rights institutions.

up to now, promoters of overseas human rights legislation have relied too seriously on atmosphere common objectives and techniques and never adequate on assessing what really works and environment priorities. Hafner-Burton illustrates how, with a unique technique, human rights stewards could make foreign legislations more beneficial and likewise defend human rights for extra of the realm inhabitants.

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Suppose that the meanings of concepts are mutually determined by the relations they bear to one another, so that what I mean by “rights” depends on what I mean by “duty,” by “interest,” by “harmony,” and so on. What “duty” means, in turn, depends on its own web of related concepts; it is easy to see that one doesn’t have to go through very many steps before some superficially quite unrelated ideas will turn out to be implicated in one another’s meanings. This suggests, in turn, that even small differences in meaning will quickly ramify throughout an individual’s web of concepts.

Some authors have specifically argued that dialogue, rather than criticism, should be the main mode of international human rights discourse. Bhikhu Parekh, for instance, has written: “If universal values are to enjoy widespread support and democratic validation and be free of ethnocentric biases, they should arise out of an open and uncoerced cross-cultural dialogue” [1999, p. 139]. , p. 142]. Parekh’s approach sounds very appealing, particularly the notion that the commitments of all parties to a conversation might be transformed through the process of dialogue.

I have thereby expressed a whole range of commitments. I have committed myself to the earth’s being flat, to at least some planets being flat, to the earth’s not being spherical, and so on. ” We can tell that I have expressed these commitments, though, and also see how crucial they are to linguistic practice, if we consider the following scenario. ” “Sure it is,” say I. Were 4 For an influential effort to spell out this idea more carefully, see [Grice 1989]. 33 Languages, Concepts, and Pluralism the conversation to continue on these lines – my seeming to accept commitments but to disavow many of their entailments – you’d probably give up trying to talk with me.

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