Contracting Human Rights


Contracting Human Rights

Crisis, Accountability, and Opportunity

9781789907735 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Alison Brysk, Distinguished Professor, Department of Global Studies and Political Science and Michael Stohl, Professor of Communication, University of California, Santa Barbara, US
Publication Date: 2019 ISBN: 978 1 78990 773 5 Extent: 320 pp
By chronicling the continuing contest over the reach, range, and regime of rights, Contracting Human Rights analyzes the way forward in an era of many challenges. This multidisciplinary book contributes to building understanding of the maturation of human rights, from a dissident doctrine to a dynamic parameter of global governance and civil society. Through an examination of both global and local challenges to human rights, including loopholes, backlash, accountability, and new opportunities to move forward, this book analyzes trends across multiple-issue areas.

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The securitization that accompanied many national responses after 11 September 2001, along with the shortfalls of neo-liberalism, created waves of opposition to the growth of the human rights regime. By chronicling the continuing contest over the reach, range, and regime of rights, Contracting Human Rights analyses the way forward in an era of many challenges.

Through an examination of both global and local challenges to human rights, including loopholes, backlash, accountability, and new opportunities to move forward, the expert contributors analyse trends across multiple-issue areas. These include; international institutions, humanitarian action, censorship and communications, discrimination, human trafficking, counter-terrorism, corporate social responsibility and civil society and social movements. The topical chapters also provide a comprehensive review of the widening citizenship gaps in human rights coverage for refugees, women’s rights in patriarchal societies, and civil liberties in chronic conflict.

This timely study will be invaluable reading for academics, upper-level undergraduates, and those studying graduate courses relating to international relations, human rights, and global governance.
Critical Acclaim
‘Brysk and Stohl bring together a diverse set of voices and perspectives in questioning long-held assumptions about the progressive expansion of international human rights norms and enforcement mechanisms. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the long-term impact of the so-called war on terror on international human rights and anyone concerned with the future of human rights.’
– Michael Goodhart, University of Pittsburgh, US

‘In turbulent times for human rights, this volume explores why promotion and protection of rights is stalled or thwarted in a range of issue areas, in multiple countries and regions, and at varying levels of governance. Particularly impressive are the range of topics covered across the individual chapters, the depth of evidence marshalled, and the uniformly urgent call to move beyond conventional explanations.’
– Shareen Hertel, University of Connecticut, US

‘Contracting Human Rights is an exciting collection of essays covering topics from refugee rights and the International Criminal Court to corporate responsibilities, LGBT and women’s rights, and beyond. The authors show how human rights can be blocked by resistance, counter-mobilization, and the reassertion of state sovereignty. Yet they also show that there are still means to reinforce human rights rather than give in to a politics of fear. Well worth reading, and a superb collection for classroom use.’
– Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, Professor Emeritus, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada and Research Chair in International Human Rights, 2003-16
Contributors: K. Ainley, G. Andreopoulos, C. Apodaca, P.M. Ayoub, Y. Bei, N. Bennett, A. Brysk, K. Caldwell, F.M. Cherif, M. Etter, J. Faust, S. Ganesh, F. Gómez Isa, A. Jimenez-Bacardi, N. Katona, B. Linder, K. Lukas, J. Planitzer, W. Sandholtz, G. Shafir, C. Stohl, M. Stohl, A. Vestergaard, C. Wright



1. Introduction: Contracting human rights
Alison Brysk

Part I Gaps
2. Contracting the refugee regime: The global citizenship gap
Alison Brysk

3. Has the occupation occupied Israel?
Gershon Shafir

4. Expanding extractive industries, contracting indigenous rights? Gains, setbacks and missed opportunities in Latin America
Claire Wright

5. The bottom two billion: The global expansion of urban slums and second-class citizenship
Natasha Bennett

Part II Backlash
6. The human rights costs of NGOs’ naming and shaming campaigns
Clair Apodaca

7. Perils of success: Backlash and resistance to LGBT rights in domestic and international politics
Phillip M. Ayoub

8. Human rights and democracy promotion in times of contraction: EU human rights and democratization policies in Egypt
Felipe Gómez Isa

9. From lawless to secret law: The United States, the CIA, and extra-judicial killings
Arturo Jimenez-Bacardi

Part III Accountability
10. Whither accountability? Counter-terrorism and human rights at the United Nations Security Council
George Andreopoulos

11. Backlash and international human rights courts
Wayne Sandholtz, Yining Bei, and Kayla Caldwell

12. Retreat or retrenchment? An analysis of the International Criminal Court’s failure to prosecute presidents
Kirsten Ainley

13. Searching for accountability of the private sector: Civil liability of corporations for trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labour exploitation in the European context
Julia Planitzer, Nora Katona, Barbara Linder and Karin Lukas

Part IV Opportunities
14. Business and human rights: Exploring the limits of an expanding agenda on corporate responsibility
Anne Vestergaard and Michael Etter

15. Digital media and human rights: Loomio, Statistics New Zealand, and gender identity
Cynthia Stohl, Michael Stohl and Shiv Ganesh

16. Beyond global vs. local: Islam, feminism, and women’s rights in Morocco
Jesilyn Faust

17. Contesting the citizenship gap: Advocacy, core rights, and women’s rights reform
Feryal M. Cherif

18. Conclusion: From hope to fear in the millennium: Human rights in an age of backlash
Michael Stohl


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