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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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Circle of Empowerment

Twenty-Five years of the un committee on the elimination of discrimination against women

Hanna Beate Schopp-Schilling, Editor, Cees Flinterman, Associate Editor

Adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, CEDAW (the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women) has impacted women’s rights in the areas of personal status laws, labor markets, migration, human trafficking, health, cultural stereotypes, and domestic violence. The book contains essays and rare personal reflections on how to make CEDAW work by current and former CEDAW Committee members. Analyzes the new challenges brought on by globalization that affect international human and women’s rights.

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Citizens, Courts, and Confirmations

Positivity Theory and the Judgments of the American People

James L. Gibson

In recent years the American public has witnessed several hard-fought battles over nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court. In these heated confirmation fights, candidates' legal and political philosophies have been subject to intense scrutiny and debate. Citizens, Courts, and Confirmations examines one such fight--over the nomination of Samuel Alito--to discover how and why people formed opinions about the nominee, and to determine how the confirmation process shaped perceptions of the Supreme Court's legitimacy.

Drawing on a nationally representative survey, James Gibson and Gregory Caldeira use the Alito confirmation fight as a window into public attitudes about the nation's highest court. They find that Americans know far more about the Supreme Court than many realize, that the Court enjoys a great deal of legitimacy among the American people, that attitudes toward the Court as an institution generally do not suffer from partisan or ideological polarization, and that public knowledge enhances the legitimacy accorded the Court. Yet the authors demonstrate that partisan and ideological infighting that treats the Court as just another political institution undermines the considerable public support the institution currently enjoys, and that politicized confirmation battles pose a grave threat to the basic legitimacy of the Supreme Court.

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Citizens' Power in Latin America

Theory and Practice

Examines why some democratic innovations succeed while others fail, using Venezuela, Ecuador, and Chile as case studies.

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Citizenship in Myanmar

Ways of Being in and from Burma

Edited by Ashley South and Marie Lall

Myanmar is going through a period of profound — and contested — transition. The country has experienced widespread if sometimes uneven reforms, including the start of a peace process between the government and Myanmar Army, and some two dozen ethnic armed organizations, which had long been fighting for greater autonomy from the militarized and Burman-dominated state. This book brings together chapters by Burmese and foreign experts, and contributions from community and political leaders, who discuss the meaning of citizenship in Myanmar/Burma. The book explores citizenship in relation to three broad categories: issues of identity and conflict; debates around concepts and practices of citizenship; and inter- and intra-community issues, including Buddhist–Muslim relations. This is the first volume to address these issues, understanding and resolving which will be central to Myanmar's continued transition away from violence and authoritarianism.

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A City within a City

The Black Freedom Struggle in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Todd E Robinson

A City within a City examines the civil rights movement in the North by concentrating on the struggles for equality in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Historian Todd Robinson studies the issues surrounding school integration and bureaucratic reforms as well as the role of black youth activism to detail the diversity of black resistance. He focuses on respectability within the African American community as a way of understanding how the movement was formed and held together. And he elucidates the oppositional role of northern conservatives regarding racial progress.
 
A City within a City cogently argues that the post-war political reform championed by local Republicans transformed the city's racial geography, creating a racialized "city within a city," featuring a system of "managerial racism" designed to keep blacks in declining inner-city areas. As Robinson indicates, this bold, provocative framework for understanding race relations in Grand Rapids has broader implications for illuminating the twentieth-century African American urban experience in secondary cities.

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Civil Disabilities

Citizenship, Membership, and Belonging

Edited by Nancy J. Hirschmann and Beth Linker

An estimated one billion people around the globe live with a disability; this number grows exponentially when family members, friends, and care providers are included. Various countries and international organizations have attempted to guard against discrimination and secure basic human rights for those whose lives are affected by disability. Yet despite such attempts many disabled persons in the United States and throughout the world still face exclusion from full citizenship and membership in their respective societies. They are regularly denied employment, housing, health care, access to buildings, and the right to move freely in public spaces. At base, such discrimination reflects a tacit yet pervasive assumption that disabled persons do not belong in society.

Civil Disabilities challenges such norms and practices, urging a reconceptualization of disability and citizenship to secure a rightful place for disabled persons in society. Essays from leading scholars in a diversity of fields offer critical perspectives on current citizenship studies, which still largely assume an ableist world. Placing historians in conversation with anthropologists, sociologists with literary critics, and musicologists with political scientists, this interdisciplinary volume presents a compelling case for reimagining citizenship that is more consistent, inclusive, and just, in both theory and practice. By placing disability front and center in academic and civic discourse, Civil Disabilities tests the very notion of citizenship and transforms our understanding of disability and belonging.

Contributors: Emily Abel, Douglas C. Baynton, Susan Burch, Allison C. Carey, Faye Ginsburg, Nancy J. Hirschmann, Hannah Joyner, Catherine Kudlick, Beth Linker, Alex Lubet, Rayna Rapp, Susan Schweik, Tobin Siebers, Lorella Terzi.

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Civil Passions

Moral Sentiment and Democratic Deliberation

Sharon R. Krause

Must we put passions aside when we deliberate about justice? Can we do so? The dominant views of deliberation rightly emphasize the importance of impartiality as a cornerstone of fair decision making, but they wrongly assume that impartiality means being disengaged and passionless. In Civil Passions, Sharon Krause argues that moral and political deliberation must incorporate passions, even as she insists on the value of impartiality. Drawing on resources ranging from Hume's theory of moral sentiment to recent findings in neuroscience, Civil Passions breaks new ground by providing a systematic account of how passions can generate an impartial standpoint that yields binding and compelling conclusions in politics. Krause shows that the path to genuinely impartial justice in the public sphere--and ultimately to social change and political reform--runs through moral sentiment properly construed. This new account of affective but impartial judgment calls for a politics of liberal rights and democratic contestation, and it requires us to reconceive the meaning of public reason, the nature of sound deliberation, and the authority of law. By illuminating how impartiality feels, Civil Passions offers not only a truer account of how we deliberate about justice, but one that promises to engage citizens more effectively in acting for justice.

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Civil Religion in Political Thought

Ronald Weed

The essays in this volume blend historical and philosophical reflection with concern for contemporary political problems. They show that the causes and motivations of civil religion are a permanent fixture of the human condition, though some of its manifestations and proximate causes have shifted in an age of multiculturalism, religious toleration, and secularization

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Civil Resistance

Comparative Perspectives on Nonviolent Struggle

Kurt Schock

In the past quarter century the world has witnessed dramatic social and political transformations, due in part to an upsurge in civil resistance. There have been significant uprisings around the globe, including the toppling of communist regimes in Eastern Europe, the Color Revolutions, the Arab Spring, protests against war and economic inequality, countless struggles against corruption, and demands for more equitable distribution of land. These actions have attracted substantial scholarly attention, reflected in the growth of literature on social movements and revolution as well as literature on nonviolent resistance. Until now, however, the two bodies of literature have largely developed in parallel—with relatively little acknowledgment of the existence of the other.

In this useful collection, an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars takes stock of the current state of the theoretical and empirical literature on civil resistance. Contributors analyze key processes of nonviolent struggle and identify both frictions and points of synthesis between the narrower literature on civil resistance and the broader literature on social movements and revolution. By doing so, Civil Resistance: Comparative Perspectives on Nonviolent Struggle pushes the boundaries of the study of civil resistance and generates social scientific knowledge that will be helpful for all scholars and activists concerned with democracy, human rights, and social justice.


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