Contesting Human Rights


Contesting Human Rights

Norms, Institutions and Practice

9781788972857 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 78897 285 7 Extent: 256 pp
Illustrated with case studies from across the globe, Contesting Human Rights provides an innovative approach to human rights, and examines the barriers and changing pathways to the full realisation of these rights. Presenting a thorough proposal for the reframing of human rights, the volume suggests that new opportunities at, and below, the state level, and creative pathways of global governance can help reconstruct human rights in the face of modern challenges.

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Human rights are at a crossroads. This book considers how these rights can be reconstructed in challenging times, with changes in the pathways to the realization of human rights and new developments in human rights law and policy, illustrated with case studies from Africa, Europe, and the Americas.

Contesting Human Rights traces the balance between the dynamics of diffusion, resistance and innovation in the field. The book examines a range of issues from the effectiveness of norm-promotion by advocacy campaigns to the backlash facing human rights advocates. The expert contributors suggest that new opportunities at and below the state level, and creative contests of global governance, can help reconstruct human rights in the face of modern challenges. Critical case studies trace new pathways emerging in the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review, regional human rights courts, constitutional incorporation of international norms, and human rights cities.

With its innovative approach to human rights and comprehensive coverage of global, national and regional trends, Contesting Human Rights will be an invaluable tool for scholars and students of human rights, global governance, law and politics. It will also be useful for human rights advocates with a keen interest in the evolution of the human rights landscape.
Critical Acclaim
‘This book will definitely serve as a good supplementary text for human rights courses and handy reference for seasoned practitioners and advocates.’
– Kai-Chung Lo, Johnson Chun-Sing Cheung, Human Rights Review

‘Contesting Human Rights is a provocative collection of essays by some of the world’s leading human rights scholars that will challenge the reader to re-think both the successes and the failures of the human rights revolution.’
– Mark Gibney, University of North Carolina, Asheville, US
Contributors: G. Andreopoulos, C. Apodaca, P.M. Ayoub, A. Brysk, P. Elizalde, A. Feldman, M. Goodhart, J. Hart, C. Hillebrecht, P.C. McMahon, S. Meili, M. Mullinax, A. Murdie, B. Park, W. Sandholtz, M. Stohl


1. Introduction: Contesting Human Rights: Pathways of Change
Alison Brysk

2. Building Momentum: Changes in Advocacy Discourse Around Early Child Marriage, 2011-2017
Amanda Murdie, Baekkwan Park, Jaqueline Hart and Margo Mullinex

3. Tensions in Rights: Navigating Emerging Contradictions in the Emerging LGBT Rights Revolution
Phillip M. Ayoub

4. Better Late Than Never? The Evolving Responsibility of Internatioal Organizations
George Andreopoulous

5. A Horizontal Pathway to Impact? An Assessment of the Universal Periodic Review at 10
Pilar Elizalde

6. The Trans-Regional Construction of Human Rights
Wayne Sandholtz, Adam Feldman

7. The Effectiveness of an Emerging Pathway of Rights: The Constitutionalization of Human Rights Law
Stephen Meili

8. Human Rights Cities: Making the Global Local
Michael Goodhart

9. Advocacy and Accountability in the Age of Backlash: NGOs and Regional Courts
Courtney Hillebrecht

10.What Went Wrong: Backlash and Contradictions in Central and Eastern Europe
Patrice C. McMahon

11. Emerging Contradictions in US Human Rights Policy: The Trump Agenda The Trump Agenda
Clair Apodaca

12. It Was The Best of Times, It Was The Worst of Times: Conclusions on Contesting Human Rights
Michael Stohl

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