The History of Human Rights: From Ancient Times to the Globalization Era

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-06-02
  • Publisher: Univ of California Pr

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Micheline Ishay recounts the dramatic struggle for human rights across the ages in a book that brilliantly synthesizes historical and intellectual developments from the Mesopotamian Codes of Hammurabi to today's era of globalization. As she chronicles the clash of social movements, ideas, and armies that have played a part in this struggle, Ishay illustrates how the history of human rights has evolved from one era to the next through texts, cultural traditions, and creative expression. Writing with verve and extraordinary range, she develops a framework for understanding contemporary issues from the debate over globalization to the intervention in Kosovo to the climate for human rights after September 11, 2001. The only comprehensive history of human rights available, the book will be essential reading for anyone concerned with humankind's quest for justice and dignity. Ishay structures her chapters around six core questions that have shaped human rights debate and scholarship: What are the origins of human rights? Why did the European vision of human rights triumph over those of other civilizations? Has socialism made a lasting contribution to the legacy of human rights? Are human rights universal or culturally bound? Must human rights be sacrificed to the demands of national security? Is globalization eroding or advancing human rights? As she explores these questions, Ishay also incorporates notable documents--writings, speeches, and political statements--from activists, writers, and thinkers throughout history.

Author Biography

Micheline R. Ishay is Professor and Director of the International Human Rights Program at the University of Denver

Table of Contents

Preface to the 2008 Editionp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xxiii
Introductionp. 1
The Definition, the Argument, and Six Historical Controversiesp. 3
Structurep. 14
Early Ethical Contributions to Human Rightsp. 15
Religious and Secular Notions of Universalismp. 18
Liberty: The Origins of Tolerancep. 27
Equality: Early Notions of Economic and Social Justicep. 35
How to Promote Justice?p. 40
Fraternity, or Human Rights for Whom?p. 47
Human Rights and the Enlightenment: The Development of a Liberal and Secular Perspective on Human Rightsp. 63
From Ancient Civilizations to the Rise of the Westp. 66
Freedom of Religion and Opinionp. 75
The Right to Lifep. 84
The Right to Private Propertyp. 91
The State and Just-War Theoryp. 99
Human Rights for Whom?p. 107
Human Rights and the Industrial Age: The Development of a Socialist Perspective on Human Rightsp. 117
The Industrial Agep. 120
Challenging the Liberal Vision of Rightsp. 127
Universal Suffrage, Economic and Social Rightsp. 135
Challenging Capitalism and the Statep. 145
Human Rights for Whom?p. 155
The World Wars: The Institutionalization of International Rights and the Right to Self-Determinationp. 173
The End of Empiresp. 175
The Right to Self-Determinationp. 181
Institutionalizing Human Rightsp. 199
Human Rights for Whom?p. 229
Globalization and Its Impact on Human Rightsp. 245
Globalization and Protest Movementsp. 248
Defining Rights in the Era of Globalizationp. 256
After September 11: Security versus Human Rightsp. 279
Human Rights for Whom?p. 293
Promoting Human Rights in the Twenty-first Century: The Changing Arena of Strugglep. 315
Medievalism and the Absence of Civil Societyp. 318
The Emergence of Civil Society during the Enlightenmentp. 324
The Expansion of Civil Society in the Industrial Agep. 329
The Anti-Colonial Strugglep. 335
The Globalization of Civil Society? Or an Assault on the Private Realm?p. 340
A Chronology of Events and Writings Related to Human Rightsp. 357
Notesp. 369
Referencesp. 405
Indexp. 431
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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