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

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University of California Press, 2008 - History - 450 pages
2 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

Early Ethical Contributions to Human Rights
15
Religious and Secular Notions of Universalism
18
The Origins of Tolerance
27
Early Notions of Economic and Social Justice
35
How to Promote Justice?
40
Fraternity or Human Rights for Whom?
47
Human Rights and the Enlightenment The Development of a Liberal and Secular Perspective on Human Rights
63
From Ancient Civilization to the Rise of the West
66
The End of Empires
175
The Right to SelfDetermination
181
Institutionalizing Human Rights
199
Human Rights for Whom?
229
Globalization and Its Impact on Human Rights
245
Globalization and Protest Movements
248
Defining Rights in the Era of Globalization
256
Security versus Human Rights
279

Freedom of Religion and Opinion
75
The Right to Life
84
The Right to Private Property
91
The State and JustWar Theory
99
Human Rights for Whom?
107
Human Rights and the Industrial Age The Development of a Socialist Perspective on Human Rights
117
The Industrial Age
120
Challenging the Liberal Vision of Rights
127
Universal Suffrage Economic and Social Rights
135
Challenging Capitalism and the State
145
Human Rights for Whom?
155
The World Wars The Institutionalization of International Rights and the Right to SelfDetermination
173
Human Rights for Whom?
293
Promoting Human Rights in the Twentyfirst Century The Changing Arena of Struggle
315
Medievalism and the Absence of Civil Society
318
The Emergence of Civil Society during the Enlightenment
324
The Expansion of Civil Society in the Industrial Age
329
The AntiColonial Struggle
335
The Globalization of Civil Society? Or an Assault on the Private Realm?
340
A Chronology of Events and Writings Related to Human Rights
357
Notes
369
References
405
Index
431
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About the author (2008)

Micheline R. Ishay is Professor and Director of the International Human Rights Program at the University of Denver, author of Internationalism and Its Betrayal, and editor of The Human Rights Reader.

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