Human Rights: Concepts, Contests, Contingencies by Austin Sarat, Thomas R. Kearns

By Austin Sarat, Thomas R. Kearns

Today the language of human rights, if no longer human rights themselves, is sort of common. Human Rights brings jointly essays that attend to either the attract and feedback of human rights. They research contestation and contingency in state-of-the-art human rights politics and aid us reconsider many of the easy recommendations of human rights. Questions addressed in Human Rights contain: Can nationwide self-determination be reconciled with human rights? Can human rights be complicated with no thwarting efforts to enhance indigenous criminal traditions? How are the forces of modernization linked to globalization reworking our realizing of human dignity and private autonomy? What does it suggest to speak about tradition and cultural selection? Is the safety of tradition and cultural selection a major worth in human rights discourse? How do human rights determine in neighborhood political contests and the way are these contests, in flip, formed through the unfold of capitalism and industry values? What contingencies form the implementation of human rights in societies with out a robust culture of adherence to the guideline of legislations? What are the stipulations below which human rights claims are complex and lower than which countries reply to their appeal?

Austin Sarat is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political technology, Amherst collage. Thomas R. Kearns is William H. Hastie Professor of Philosophy and Professor of legislation, Jurisprudence, and Social inspiration, Amherst College.

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Extra info for Human Rights: Concepts, Contests, Contingencies

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4 At issue in world forums and in documents such as the draft declaration are both the definition of indigenous peoples and the identification of groups to whom it applies. Just who counts as indigenous is fairly clear in the case of the settler colonies of the Americas, Australia, and New Zealand. They are the people who inhabited the land for centuries before the European settlers came, and who live today in some continuity with the premodern ways of life of their ancestors. The United Nations, however, also recognizes some other peoples in Europe, Asia, and Africa as indigenous, a designation that some states contest for some of "their" minorities.

The Helsinki Final Act of 1975, the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also reaffirms the right of a people to be free from external influence in choosing their own form of government. 2 A principle of self-determination, then, has been increasingly recognized as applying to all peoples, and not only those in the territories of the former European colonies of Africa and Asia. Continued and wider affirmation of a principle of self-determination in international documents encourages indigenous groups and other displaced, oppressed, or dominated groups to press claims against states that assert jurisdiction over them both directly and in international forums.

2 (winter 1992 ): 32 5-46. International Affairs 48, no. Two CONCEPTS OF SELF-DETERMINATION 33 poses this private sphere of individual property. From this base of independence individual agents enter relationships with others through voluntary agreements. Except where obligations are generated through such agreements, the freedom of individuals ought not to be interfered with unless they are directly and actively interfering with the freedom of others. The ideal of self-determination, on this view, consists in an agent's being left alone to conduct his or her affairs in his or her own independent sphere.

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