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American Exceptionalism and Human Rights Cover

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American Exceptionalism and Human Rights

Michael Ignatieff

With the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, the most controversial question in world politics fast became whether the United States stands within the order of international law or outside it. Does America still play by the rules it helped create? American Exceptionalism and Human Rights addresses this question as it applies to U.S. behavior in relation to international human rights. With essays by eleven leading experts in such fields as international relations and international law, it seeks to show and explain how America's approach to human rights differs from that of most other Western nations.

In his introduction, Michael Ignatieff identifies three main types of exceptionalism: exemptionalism (supporting treaties as long as Americans are exempt from them); double standards (criticizing "others for not heeding the findings of international human rights bodies, but ignoring what these bodies say of the United States); and legal isolationism (the tendency of American judges to ignore other jurisdictions). The contributors use Ignatieff's essay as a jumping-off point to discuss specific types of exceptionalism--America's approach to capital punishment and to free speech, for example--or to explore the social, cultural, and institutional roots of exceptionalism.

These essays--most of which appear in print here for the first time, and all of which have been revised or updated since being presented in a year-long lecture series on American exceptionalism at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government--are by Stanley Hoffmann, Paul Kahn, Harold Koh, Frank Michelman, Andrew Moravcsik, John Ruggie, Frederick Schauer, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Carol Steiker, and Cass Sunstein.

American Immunity Cover

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American Immunity

War Crimes and the Limits of International Law

Patrick Hagopian

In 1955 the Supreme Court ruled that veterans of the U.S. armed forces could not be court-martialed for overseas crimes that were not detected until after they had left military service. Territorial limitations placed such acts beyond the jurisdiction of civilian courts, and there was no other American court in which they could be adjudicated. As a result, a jurisdictional gap emerged that for decades exempted former troops from prosecution for war crimes. “This was not merely a theoretical possibility,” Patrick Hagopian writes. Over a dozen former soldiers who participated in the My Lai massacre did in fact “get away with murder.” Further court rulings expanded the gap to cover civilian employees and contractors that accompanied the armed forces. In American Immunity, Hagopian places what he calls the “superpower exemption” in the context of a long-standing tension between international law and U.S. sovereignty. He shows that despite the U.S. role in promulgating universal standards of international law and forming institutions where those standards can be enforced, the United States has repeatedly refused to submit its own citizens and troops to the jurisdiction of international tribunals and failed to uphold international standards of justice in its own courts. In 2000 Congress attempted to close the jurisdictional gap with passage of the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act. The effectiveness of that legislation is still in question, however, since it remains unclear how willing civilian American juries will be to convict veterans for conduct in foreign war zones.

American Indian Constitutional Reform and the Rebuilding of Native Nations Cover

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American Indian Constitutional Reform and the Rebuilding of Native Nations

Edited by Eric D. Lemont

Since 1975, when the U.S. government adopted a policy of self-determination for American Indian nations, a large number of the 562 federally recognized nations have seized the opportunity to govern themselves and determine their own economic, political, and cultural futures. As a first and crucial step in this process, many nations are revising constitutions originally developed by the U.S. government to create governmental structures more attuned to native people's unique cultural and political values. These new constitutions and the governing institutions they create are fostering greater governmental stability and accountability, increasing citizen support of government, and providing a firmer foundation for economic and political development. This book brings together for the first time the writings of tribal reform leaders, academics, and legal practitioners to offer a comprehensive overview of American Indian nations' constitutional reform processes and the rebuilding of native nations. The book is organized in three sections. The first part investigates the historical, cultural, economic, and political motivations behind American Indian nations' recent reform efforts. The second part examines the most significant areas of reform, including criteria for tribal membership/citizenship and the reform of governmental institutions. The book concludes with a discussion of how American Indian nations are navigating the process of reform, including overcoming the politics of reform, maximizing citizen participation, and developing short-term and long-term programs of civic education.

American Indian Law Deskbook, Fourth Edition Cover

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American Indian Law Deskbook, Fourth Edition

Conference of Western Attorneys General

"Students and practitioners of law, American Indian history, cultures, and contemporary issues; tribal officials; people who need quick, reliable, and basic information (e.g., journalists and legislators); and lawyers who do not specialize in Indian law but need a broad overview of particular legal issues will find this resource useful."— American Reference Books Annual

A collaborative effort from attorney general offices faced daily with legal questions involving state and tribal relations, the American Indian Law Deskbook, Fourth Edition is an up-to-date, comprehensive treatise on Indian law. The Deskbook provides readers with the neccessary historical and legal framework to understand the complexities faced by states, Indian tribes, and the federal government in Indian country. Thorough, scholarly, and balanced, the American Indian Law Deskbook, Fourth Edition is an invaluable reference for a wide range of people working with Indian tribes, including attorneys, legal scholars, government officials, social workers, state and tribal jurists, and historians. This revised edition includes information from more recent court decisions, federal statutes, administrative regulations, and law reviews.

American Indian Law Deskbook, Third Edition Cover

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American Indian Law Deskbook, Third Edition

Conference of Western Attorneys General

"CWAG's American Indian Law Deskbook has quickly become one of the most authoritative and up-to-date works in the field, and CWAG has dutifully published yearly supplements. . . . the most thorough survey available of the legal relationship between tribes, states, and the federal government."—Nathan Brooks, The Federal Lawyer

"Straightforward, clear, and remarkably free of legal terms. . . . Students and practitioners of law and American Indian history, cultures, and contemporary issues; tribal officials; people who need quick, reliable, and basic information (e.g., journalists, legislators); and laywers . . . will find this resource useful. It is appropriate for academic, legal, and public libraries."—Karen D. Harvey, American Reference Books Annual

"This is a necessary reference book for any serious student of American Indian law and policy. Given the expanding interest in the field of American Indian history, the publication of books focused on American Indian law cases, and late-twentieth-century issues such as gambling and family law, this book should be at hand for any reader of the literature."—Gordon Morris Bakken, Montana: The Magazine of Western History

The American Indian Law Deskbook, Third Edition, is an up-to-date, comprehensive treatise on Indian law, providing readers with the necessary historical and legal framework to understand the complexities faced by states, Indian tribes, and the federal government in Indian country. Thorough, scholarly, and balanced, The American Indian Law Deskbook, Third Edition, is an invaluable reference for a wide range of people working with Indian tribes, including attorneys and legal scholars, government officials, social workers, state and tribal jurists, and historians. This revised edition includes information from court decisions, federal statutes, and administrative regulations through June 2003 as well as law review articles through the Spring of 2003.

American Justice 2014 Cover

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American Justice 2014

Nine Clashing Visions on the Supreme Court

By Garrett Epps

In this provocative and insightful book, constitutional scholar and journalist Garrett Epps reviews the key decisions of the 2013-2014 Supreme Court term through the words of the nation's nine most powerful legal authorities. Epps succinctly outlines one opinion or dissent from each of the justices during the recent term, using it to illuminate the political and ideological views that prevail on the Court. The result is a highly readable summary of the term's most controversial cases as well as a probing investigation of the issues and personalities that shape the Court's decisions.

Accompanied by a concise overview of Supreme Court procedure and brief case summaries, American Justice 2014 is an engaging and instructive read for seasoned Court-watchers as well as legal novices eager for an introduction to the least-understood branch of government. This revealing portrait of a year in legal action dramatizes the ways that the Court has come to reflect and encourage the polarization that increasingly defines American politics.

American Law in the Age of Hypercapitalism Cover

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American Law in the Age of Hypercapitalism

The Worker, the Family, and the State

Ruth Colker

Since the fall of communism, laissez-faire capitalism has experienced renewed popularity. Flush with victory, the United States has embraced a particularly narrow and single-minded definition of capitalism and aggressively exported it worldwide. The defining trait of this brand of capitalism is an unwavering reverence for the icons of the market. Although promoted as a laissez-faire form of capitalism, it actually reflects the very evils of selfishness and greed by entrepreneurs that concerned Adam Smith.

Capitalism, however, can thrive without an extreme emphasis on efficiency and personal autonomy. Americans often forget that theirs is a rather peculiar form of capitalism, that other Western nations successfully maintain capitalistic systems that are fundamentally more balanced and nuanced in their effect on society. The unnecessarily inhumane aspects of American capitalism become apparent when compared to Canadian and Western European societies, with their more generous policies regarding affirmative action, accommodation for disabled persons, and family and medical leave for pregnant woman and their partners.

In American Law in the Age of Hypercapitalism, Ruth Colker examines how American law purports to reflect--and actively promotes--a laissez-faire capitalism that disproportionately benefits the entrepreneurial class. Colker proposes that the quality of American life depends also on fairness and equality rather than simply the single-minded and formulaic pursuit of efficiency and utility.

The American Revolution In the Law Cover

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The American Revolution In the Law

Anglo-American Jurisprudence before John Marshall

Shannon C. Stimson

In 1773 John Adams observed that one source of tension in the debate between England and the colonies could be traced to the different conceptions each side had of the terms "legally" and "constitutionally"--different conceptions that were, as Shannon Stimson here demonstrates, symptomatic of deeper jurisprudential, political, and even epistemological differences between the two governmental outlooks. This study of the political and legal thought of the American revolution and founding period explores the differences between late eighteenth-century British and American perceptions of the judicial and jural power.

In Stimson's book, which will interest both historians and theorists of law and politics, the study of colonial juries provides an incisive tool for organizing, interpreting, and evaluating various strands of American political theory, and for challenging the common assumption of a basic unity of vision of the roots of Anglo-American jurisprudence. The author introduces an original concept, that of "judicial space," to account for the development of the highly political role of the Supreme Court, a judicial body that has no clear counterpart in English jurisprudence.

Originally published in 1990.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Americans at the Gate Cover

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Americans at the Gate

The United States and Refugees during the Cold War

Carl J. Bon Tempo

Unlike the 1930s, when the United States tragically failed to open its doors to Europeans fleeing Nazism, the country admitted over three million refugees during the Cold War. This dramatic reversal gave rise to intense political and cultural battles, pitting refugee advocates against determined opponents who at times successfully slowed admissions. The first comprehensive historical exploration of American refugee affairs from the midcentury to the present, Americans at the Gate explores the reasons behind the remarkable changes to American refugee policy, laws, and programs.

Carl Bon Tempo looks at the Hungarian, Cuban, and Indochinese refugee crises, and he examines major pieces of legislation, including the Refugee Relief Act and the 1980 Refugee Act. He argues that the American commitment to refugees in the post-1945 era occurred not just because of foreign policy imperatives during the Cold War, but also because of particular domestic developments within the United States such as the Red Scare, the Civil Rights Movement, the rise of the Right, and partisan electoral politics. Using a wide variety of sources and documents, Americans at the Gate considers policy and law developments in connection with the organization and administration of refugee programs.

Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.

Americans Without Law Cover

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Americans Without Law

The Racial Boundaries of Citizenship

Mark Weiner

Americans Without Law shows how the racial boundaries of civic life are based on widespread perceptions about the relative capacity of minority groups for legal behavior, which Mark S. Weiner calls “juridical racialism.” The book follows the history of this civic discourse by examining the legal status of four minority groups in four successive historical periods: American Indians in the 1880s, Filipinos after the Spanish-American War, Japanese immigrants in the 1920s, and African Americans in the 1940s and 1950s.

Weiner reveals the significance of juridical racialism for each group and, in turn, Americans as a whole by examining the work of anthropological social scientists who developed distinctive ways of understanding racial and legal identity, and through decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court that put these ethno-legal views into practice. Combining history, anthropology, and legal analysis, the book argues that the story of juridical racialism shows how race and citizenship served as a nexus for the professionalization of the social sciences, the growth of national state power, economic modernization, and modern practices of the self.

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