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Their basis and limits
Catriona McKinnon

Introduction Rights appear in every plausible theory of justice and dominate contemporary political rhetoric. Critics, as a matter of course, raise two objections to this proliferation of rights talk. First, they argue that no clear justification exists for rights. As a result, every political issue can be turned into a demand for rights. This inflation of rights claims has devalued the currency of

in Political concepts
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Alex Mold

4 Rights The idea that patients were in possession of rights in relation to health has long permeated discussions about medicine and health in Britain, but during the 1970s and 1980s, ‘rights talk’ became more prominent. Patientconsumer organisations began to formulate many of their demands, such as access to information or the ability to complain, as ‘rights’. A plethora of rights guides and charters were produced from the late 1970s onwards, designed to inform the patient of his or her rights, including things such as access to treatment on the NHS, to

in Making the patient-consumer
Contemporary Asian contexts
Authors: Caroline Turner and Jen Webb

Contemporary Asian art has had a remarkable impact on global art practice, and simultaneously has produced an enduring record of the history of that region from the moment of decolonisation to the present. Many artists in the region have a deep concern about what it means to be human and to contribute to the development of a better future for their communities as well as having a sustained commitment to making art. This book, written at the start of the ‘Asian century’, focuses on the contexts and conditions which have helped to shape both art practice, and postcolonial society, in the region. Using case studies of selected artists, it discusses their work in relation to issues of human rights, social and environmental wellbeing, and creativity and is one of the first surveys of these issues in contemporary Asian art. It is an important contribution to studies of contemporary Asian art and art history.

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The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 2008
Editor: Wes Williams

This book addresses the relationship between human rights and religion. The original blurb for the Oxford Amnesty Lectures of 2008 invited speakers and audiences to ponder arguments for the God-given source of human rights. The book explains how biblical inspiration (both Old and New Testament) fuelled the anti-slavery protests and later the civil rights movement in the United States. It develops the particular relevance, for arguments over human rights within Islam, of the writings of the medieval philosopher Muhammad al-Ghazali who justified an openness towards constructive engagement with other traditions. The book shows where the philosophical worldviews that inform the religion of Islam and the rights discourse may be distant from each other. It illustrates the challenge of taking the real world of human practice seriously while avoiding simplistic arguments for pluralism or relativism. The book focuses on Simon Schama's evocation of the religious fervour which helped feed the long struggles for liberation among American slave communities. It discusses the understanding of human rights in the Roman Catholic tradition. The book also shows that the Christian experience of Pentecost and what it means to learn to speak as well as understand another's language, is a continuing resource God has given the church to sustain the ability to suffer as well as respond to those who suffer for the long haul. The book argues that moral progress consists in the universalisation of Western liberal democracy with its specific understanding of human rights.

Indigenous people in British settler colonies, 1830s–1910

This book focuses on the ways in which the British settler colonies of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa treated indigenous peoples in relation to political rights, commencing with the imperial policies of the 1830s and ending with the national political settlements in place by 1910. Drawing on a wide range of sources, its comparative approach provides an insight into the historical foundations of present-day controversies in these settler societies.

The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 2007

This book examines the intersection between incarceration and human rights. It is about why independent inspection of places of custody is a necessary part of human rights protection, and how that independence is manifested and preserved in practice. Immigration and asylum policies ask crucial questions about national identity, about human rights, and about our values as compassionate citizens in an era of increasingly complex international challenges. The book deals with the future of prisons and shows how the vulnerable population has been unconscionably treated. To arrive at a proper diagnosis of the expansive use and abuse of the prison in the age of economic deregulation and social insecurity, it is imperative that we effect some analytic breaks with the gamut of established approaches to incarceration. The book explores the new realities of criminal confinement of persons with mental illness. It traces the efforts of New Right think-tanks, police chiefs and other policy entrepreneurs to export neoliberal penality to Europe, with England and Wales acting as an 'acclimatization chamber'. In a series of interventions, of which his Oxford Amnesty Lecture is but one, Loic Wacquant has in recent years developed an incisive and invaluable analysis of the rise and effects of what he calls the penal state.

This book is a full-length study of the rights of indigenous peoples in international law, focusing in particular on instruments of human rights. The primary reference point is contemporary law, though the book also examines the history of indigenous peoples through the lens of historical legal discourses. The work critically assesses the politics of definition and analyses contested definitions and descriptions of indigenous groups. Most of the chapters are devoted to detailed examination of existing and emerging human rights texts at global and regional levels. Among the instruments considered in the book are the International Covenants on Human Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the African Charter on Human and People's Rights, and the ILO Conventions on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples.

International society and the International Criminal Court

This book takes the transatlantic conflict over the International Criminal Court (ICC) as the lens for an enquiry into the normative foundations of international society. It shows how the way in which actors refer to core norms of the international society, such as sovereignty and human rights, affect the process and outcome of international negotiations. The book offers an innovative take on the long-standing debate over sovereignty and human rights in international relations. It goes beyond the simple and sometimes ideological duality of sovereignty versus human rights by showing that they are not competing principles in international relations, as is often argued, but complement each other. The way in which the two norms and their relationship are understood lies at the core of actors' broader visions of world order. The book shows how competing interpretations of sovereignty and human rights and the different visions of world order that they imply fed into the transatlantic debate over the ICC and transformed this debate into a conflict over the normative foundations of international society.

The promotion of human rights in international politics
Author: M. Anne Brown

This book argues for greater openness in the ways we approach human rights and international rights promotion, and in so doing brings some new understanding to old debates. Starting with the realities of abuse rather than the liberal architecture of rights, it casts human rights as a language for probing the political dimensions of suffering. Seen in this context, the predominant Western models of right generate a substantial but also problematic and not always emancipatory array of practices. These models are far from answering the questions about the nature of political community that are raised by the systemic infliction of suffering. Rather than a simple message from ‘us’ to ‘them’, then, rights promotion is a long and difficult conversation about the relationship between political organisations and suffering. Three case studies are explored: the Tiananmen Square massacre, East Timor's violent modern history and the circumstances of indigenous Australians. The purpose of these discussions is not to elaborate on a new theory of rights, but to work towards rights practices that are more responsive to the spectrum of injury that we inflict and endure.

Author: Ingi Iusmen

This book offers a timely exploration of the nature and scale of the emergent EU human rights regime by critically examining how and why EU intervention in human rights matters (with a key focus on child protection in Romania) as part of Eastern enlargement, has had feedback effects on the EU’s own institutional and policy structures. By drawing on the human rights conditionality (particularly in relation to children’s rights) as applied to Romania, this book demonstrates that the feedback effects regarding children’s rights have transformed the EU institutions’ role and scope in this policy area both in EU internal and external human rights dimensions. The process-tracing dimension illustrates why policy issues emerge on EU political agenda, which is in line with agenda-setting processes, and why they persist over time, which reflects historical institutionalist accounts. It is also shown that Eastern enlargement has raised the profile of Roma protection, international adoptions, the disabled and mental health at the EU level. The impact of these developments has been further reinforced by the constitutional and legal provisions included in the Lisbon Treaty. It is argued that Eastern enlargement along with the post-Lisbon constitutional changes have generated the emergence of a more robust and well-defined EU human rights regime in terms of its constitutional, legal and institutional clout.