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

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University of California Press, 2004 - Social Science - 450 pages
3 Reviews
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.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ndolson - LibraryThing

Good historical overview of the development of human rights. If you want your class to be topic specific: genocide, womens rights, refugee rights, childrens rights, etc. Then I would suggest this book ... Read full review

The history of human rights: from ancient times to the globalization era

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Ishay (Graduate Sch. of International Studies, Univ. of Denver) has undertaken the difficult task of abstracting the origins and development of modern human rights from recorded history. The result is ... Read full review

Contents

1 Early Ethical Contributions to Human Rights
15
The Development of a Liberal and Secular Perspective on Human Rights
63
The Development of a Socialist Perspective on Human Rights
117
The Institutionalization of International Rights and the Right to SelfDetermination
173
5 Globalization and Its Impact on Human Rights
245
The Changing Arena of Struggle
315
A Chronology of Events and Writings Related to Human Rights
357
Notes
369
References
405
Index
431
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About the author (2004)

Micheline R. Ishay is Professor and Director of the International Human Rights Program at the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She is the author of Internationalism and Its Betrayal (1995), editor of The Human Rights Reader: Major Speeches, Essays, and Documents from the Bible to the Present (1997), and coeditor of The Nationalism Reader (1995).

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