University of Pennsylvania Press

Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights

Bert B. Lockwood, Jr., Series Editor

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

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The Breakthrough

Human Rights in the 1970s

Edited by Jan Eckel and Samuel Moyn

Between the 1960s and the 1980s, the human rights movement achieved unprecedented global prominence. Amnesty International attained striking visibility with its Campaign Against Torture; Soviet dissidents attracted a worldwide audience for their heroism in facing down a totalitarian state; the Helsinki Accords were signed, incorporating a "third basket" of human rights principles; and the Carter administration formally gave the United States a human rights policy.

The Breakthrough is the first collection to examine this decisive era as a whole, tracing key developments in both Western and non-Western engagement with human rights and placing new emphasis on the role of human rights in the international history of the past century. Bringing together original essays from some of the field's leading scholars, this volume not only explores the transnational histories of international and nongovernmental human rights organizations but also analyzes the complex interplay between gender, sociology, and ideology in the making of human rights politics at the local level. Detailed case studies illuminate how a number of local movements—from the 1975 World Congress of Women in East Berlin to anti-apartheid activism in Britain, to protests in Latin America—affected international human rights discourse in the era as well as the ways these moments continue to influence current understanding of human rights history and advocacy. The global south—an area not usually treated as a scene of human rights politics—is also spotlighted in groundbreaking chapters on Biafran, South American, and Indonesian developments. In recovering the remarkable presence of global human rights talk and practice in the 1970s, The Breakthrough brings this pivotal decade to the forefront of contemporary scholarly debate.

Contributors: Carl J. Bon Tempo, Gunter Dehnert, Celia Donert, Lasse Heerten, Patrick William Kelly, Benjamin Nathans, Ned Richardson-Little, Daniel Sargent, Brad Simpson, Lynsay Skiba, Simon Stevens.

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Chains of Justice

The Global Rise of State Institutions for Human Rights

By Sonia Cardenas

National human rights institutions—state agencies charged with protecting and promoting human rights domestically—have proliferated dramatically since the 1990s; today more than a hundred countries have NHRIs, with dozens more seeking to join the global trend. These institutions are found in states of all sizes—from the Maldives and Barbados to South Africa, Mexico, and India; they exist in conflict zones and comparatively stable democracies alike. In Chains of Justice, Sonia Cardenas offers a sweeping historical and global account of the emergence of NHRIs, linking their growing prominence to the contradictions and possibilities of the modern state.

As human rights norms gained visibility at the end of the twentieth century, states began creating NHRIs based on the idea that if international human rights standards were ever to take root, they had to be firmly implanted within countries—impacting domestic laws and administrative practices and even systems of education. However, this very position within a complex state makes it particularly challenging to assess the design and influence of NHRIs: some observers are inclined to associate NHRIs with ideals of restraint and accountability, whereas others are suspicious of these institutions as "pretenders" in democratic disguise. In her theoretically and politically grounded examination, Cardenas tackles the role of NHRIs, asking how we can understand the global diffusion of these institutions, including why individual states decide to create an NHRI at a particular time while others resist the trend. She explores the influence of these institutions in states seeking mostly to appease international audiences as well as their value in places where respect for human rights is already strong.

The most comprehensive account of the NHRI phenomenon to date, Chains of Justice analyzes many institutions never studied before and draws from new data released from the Universal Periodic Review Mechanism of the United Nations Human Rights Council. With its global scope and fresh insights into the origins and influence of NHRIs, Chains of Justice promises to become a standard reference that will appeal to scholars immersed in the workings of these understudied institutions as well as nonspecialists curious about the role of the state in human rights.

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Chile Under Pinochet

Recovering the Truth

By Mark Ensalaco

"When the army comes out, it is to kill."—Augusto Pinochet

Following his bloody September 1973 coup d'état that overthrew President Salvador Allende, Augusto Pinochet, commander-in-chief of the Chilean Armed Forces and National Police, became head of a military junta that would rule Chile for the next seventeen years. The violent repression used by the Pinochet regime to maintain power and transform the country's political profile and economic system has received less attention than the Argentine military dictatorship, even though the Pinochet regime endured twice as long.

In this primary study of Chile Under Pinochet, Mark Ensalaco maintains that Pinochet was complicit in the "enforced disappearance" of thousands of Chileans and an unknown number of foreign nationals. Ensalaco spent five years in Chile investigating the impact of Pinochet's rule and interviewing members of the truth commission created to investigate the human rights violations under Pinochet. The political objective of human rights organizations, Ensalaco contends, is to bring sufficient pressure to bear on violent regimes to induce them to end policies of repression. However, these efforts are severely limited by the disparities of power between human rights organizations and regimes intent on ruthlessly eliminating dissent.

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China, the United Nations, and Human Rights

The Limits of Compliance

By Ann Kent

Selected by Choice magazine as a Outstanding Academic Book for 2000

Nelson Mandela once said, "Human rights have become the focal point of international relations." This has certainly become true in American relations with the People's Republic of China. Ann Kent's book documents China's compliance with the norms and rules of international treaties, and serves as a case study of the effectiveness of the international human rights regime, that network of international consensual agreements concerning acceptable treatment of individuals at the hands of nation-states.

Since the early 1980s, and particularly since 1989, by means of vigorous monitoring and the strict maintenance of standards, United Nations human rights organizations have encouraged China to move away from its insistence on the principle of noninterference, to take part in resolutions critical of human rights conditions in other nations, and to accept the applicability to itself of human rights norms and UN procedures. Even though China has continued to suppress political dissidents at home, and appears at times resolutely defiant of outside pressure to reform, Ann Kent argues that it has gradually begun to implement some international human rights standards.

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Clan Cleansing in Somalia

The Ruinous Legacy of 1991

By Lidwien Kapteijns

In 1991, certain political and military leaders in Somalia, wishing to gain exclusive control over the state, mobilized their followers to use terror—wounding, raping, and killing—to expel a vast number of Somalis from the capital city of Mogadishu and south-central and southern Somalia. Manipulating clan sentiment, they succeeded in turning ordinary civilians against neighbors, friends, and coworkers. Although this episode of organized communal violence is common knowledge among Somalis, its real nature has not been publicly acknowledged and has been ignored, concealed, or misrepresented in scholarly works and political memoirs—until now. Marshaling a vast amount of source material, including Somali poetry and survivor accounts, Clan Cleansing in Somalia analyzes this campaign of clan cleansing against the historical background of a violent and divisive military dictatorship, in the contemporary context of regime collapse, and in relationship to the rampant militia warfare that followed in its wake.

Clan Cleansing in Somalia also reflects on the relationship between history, truth, and postconflict reconstruction in Somalia. Documenting the organization and intent behind the campaign of clan cleansing, Lidwien Kapteijns traces the emergence of the hate narratives and code words that came to serve as rationales and triggers for the violence. However, it was not clans that killed, she insists, but people who killed in the name of clan. Kapteijns argues that the mutual forgiveness for which politicians often so lightly call is not a feasible proposition as long as the violent acts for which Somalis should forgive each other remain suppressed and undiscussed. Clan Cleansing in Somalia establishes that public acknowledgment of the ruinous turn to communal violence is indispensable to social and moral repair, and can provide a gateway for the critical memory work required from Somalis on all sides of this multifaceted conflict.

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Conflict and Compliance

State Responses to International Human Rights Pressure

By Sonia Cardenas

International human rights pressure has been applied to numerous states with varying results. In Conflict and Compliance, Sonia Cardenas examines responses to such pressure and challenges conventional views of the reasons states do—or do not—comply with international law. Data from disparate bodies of research suggest that more pressure to comply with human rights standards is not necessarily more effective and that international policies are more efficient when they target the root causes of state oppression.

Cardenas surveys a broad array of evidence to support these conclusions, including Latin American cases that incorporate recent important declassified materials, a statistical analysis of all the countries in the world, and a set of secondary cases from Eastern Europe, South Africa, China, and Cuba. The views of human rights skeptics and optimists are surveyed to illustrate how state rhetoric and behavior can be interpreted differently depending on one's perspective.

Theoretically and methodologically sophisticated, Conflict and Compliance paints a new picture of the complex dynamics at work when states face competing pressures to comply with and violate international human rights norms.

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Creating Human Rights

How Noncitizens Made Sex Persecution Matter to the World

By Lisa S. Alfredson

Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2009

Creating Human Rights offers the first systematic study of a pioneering women's refugee movement and its challenge, as an international trigger case, to more conventional paths toward human rights policy development. Lisa S. Alfredson argues that such cases, which unfold in the context of a specific country and have profound impacts on international human rights efforts, have been neglected in research and pose a challenge to recent theorizing on human rights change.

In the early 1990s, Canada witnessed the emergence of the world's first comprehensive refugee policy for women who were seeking protection from female-specific forms of violence—rape, domestic abuse, public stoning of adulterers, genital mutilation—while challenging a gender-biased system. Close examination of this novel movement, Alfredson contends, provides crucial insights into why and how states may articulate new human rights that set international precedents.

Analyzing original empirical data and sociopolitical historical trends, the book documents the decisive global impacts of the movement while shedding light on the paradox of noncitizen politics and asylum seekers' little recognized political strength. Contrary to expectation, findings suggest transnational networks and pressures are not required for some forms of change. Rather, international trigger cases illuminate a range of other key actors and advocacy strategies leading, subsequently, to a more comprehensive understanding of human rights acceptance.

In the case of the women's refugee movement, the convergence of human rights and noncitizen politics points toward a new dimension for human rights scholarship that, in the current age of globalization, is becoming critically important.

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Crimes of Peace

Mediterranean Migrations at the World's Deadliest Border

By Maurizio Albahari

Among the world's hotly contested, obsessively controlled, and often dangerous borders, none is deadlier than the Mediterranean Sea. Since 2000, at least 25,000 people have lost their lives attempting to reach Italy and the rest of Europe, most by drowning in the Mediterranean. Every day, unauthorized migrants and refugees bound for Europe put their lives in the hands of maritime smugglers, while fishermen, diplomats, priests, bureaucrats, armed forces sailors, and hesitant bystanders waver between indifference and intervention—with harrowing results.

In Crimes of Peace, Maurizio Albahari investigates why the Mediterranean Sea is the world's deadliest border, and what alternatives could improve this state of affairs. He also examines the dismal conditions of migrants in transit and the institutional framework in which they move or are physically confined. Drawing on his intimate knowledge of places, people, and European politics, Albahari supplements fieldwork in coastal southern Italy and neighboring Mediterranean locales with a meticulous documentary investigation, transforming abstract statistics into names and narratives that place the responsibility for the Mediterranean migration crisis in the very heart of liberal democracy. Global fault lines are scrutinized: between Europe, Africa, and the Middle East; military and humanitarian governance; detention and hospitality; transnational crime and statecraft; the universal law of the sea and the thresholds of a globalized yet parochial world. Crimes of Peace illuminates crucial questions of sovereignty and rights: for migrants trying to enter Europe along the Mediterranean shore, the answers are a matter of life or death.

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Crimes of the Holocaust

The Law Confronts Hard Cases

By Stephan Landsman

The problem of prosecuting individuals complicit in the Nazi regime's "Final Solution" is almost insurmountably complex and has produced ever less satisfying results as time has passed. In Crimes of the Holocaust, Stephan Landsman provides detailed analysis of the International Military Tribunal prosecution at Nuremberg in 1945, the Eichmann trial in Israel in 1961, the 1986 Demanjuk trial in Israel, and the 1990 prosecution of Imre Finta in Canada. Landsman presents each case and elaborates the difficulties inherent in achieving both a fair trial and a measure of justice in the aftermath of heinous crimes. In the face of few historical and legal precedents for such war crime prosecutions, each legal action relies on the framework of its predecessors. However, this only compounds the problematic issues arising from the Nuremberg proceedings.

Meticulously combing volumes of testimony and documentary information about each case, Landsman offers judicious and critical assessments of the proceedings. He levels pointed criticism at numerous elements of this relatively recent judicial invention, sparing neither judges nor counsel and remaining keenly aware of the human implications. Deftly weaving legal analysis with cultural context, Landsman offers the first rigorous examination of these problematic proceedings and proposes guideposts for contemporary tribunals. Crimes of the Holocaust is an authoritative account of the Gordian knot of genocide prosecution in the world courts, which will persist as a confounding issue as we are faced with a trial of Saddam Hussein. This volume will be compelling reading for legal scholars as well as laypersons interested in these cases and the issues they address.

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Cultural Heritage in Transit

Intangible Rights as Human Rights

Edited by Deborah Kapchan

Are human rights universal? The immediate response is "yes, of course." However, that simple affirmation assumes agreement about definitions of the "human" as well as what a human is entitled to under law, bringing us quickly to concepts such as freedom, property, and the inalienability of both. The assumption that we all mean the same things by these terms carries much political import, especially given that different communities (national, ethnic, religious, gendered) enact some of the most basic categories of human experience (self, home, freedom, sovereignty) differently. But whereas legal definitions often seek to eliminate ambiguity in order to define and protect the rights of humanity, ambiguity is in fact inherently human, especially in performances of heritage where the rights to sense, to imagine, and to claim cultural identities that resist circumscription are at play.

Cultural Heritage in Transit examines the intangibilities of human rights in the realm of heritage production, focusing not only on the ephemeral culture of those who perform it but also on the ambiguities present in the idea of cultural property in general—who claims it? who may use it? who should not but does? In this volume, folklorists, ethnologists, and anthropologists analyze the practice and performance of culture in particular contexts—including Roma wedding music, Trinidadian wining, Moroccan verbal art, and Neopagan rituals—in order to draw apart the social, political, and aesthetic materialities of heritage production, including inequities and hierarchies that did not exist before. The authors collectively craft theoretical frameworks to make sense of the ways the rights of nations interact with the rights of individuals and communities when the public value of artistic creations is constituted through international law.

Contributors: Valdimar Tr. Hafstein, Deborah Kapchan, Barbro Klein, Sabina Magliocco, Dorothy Noyes, Philip W. Scher, Carol Silverman.

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