After a brief look at the young Andrei Sakharov, this article examines expressions of an awakening to the human rights question in Sakharov's own thinking as well as that of the physicist's foreign colleagues. This article then scrutinizes the circumstances and reflections associated with the boycott by Western scientists of their relations with the Soviet Union in retaliation for the violation of the rights of dissident Soviet scientists, and Sakharov in particular. It concludes by analyzing the latter's exclusive personal features that may help understand an unprecedented movement of solidarity of world science in defense of one of its most illustrious members.
There is a stark contrast between the level of Iranian women's social and political engagement and what the conservative regime prescribes. The gap between the reality of women's participation in public life and their restricted legal status has emboldened women's groups to campaign for legal reforms. But the Iranian regime has adopted an uncompromising position in relation to such demands. This is seen as an existential matter for the state. As a result, the Islamic regime has adopted a highly intolerant and repressive approach to women's groups. This is most evident in relation to secular-oriented feminists, such as the Nobel Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi, driving a wedge between the latter and the more religiously-oriented feminists.
The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), one of the spin-offs of the African development framework, NEPAD, offers a unique approach to the monitoring of agreed norms of political, economic, and corporate governance in Africa. This article analyzes the APRM structure and process with a focus on how the APRM could complement other efforts to realize the African Union objective of promotion and protection of human rights. The country review reports on Ghana, Kenya, and Rwanda are analyzed from a human rights perspective.
There are a number of reasons for thinking that human rights and harmony, two values much discussed with regard to contemporary China, make poor bedfellows. They emerge from different traditions and may apply in different ways: human rights setting a minimal standard and harmony articulating an elusive ideal. In addition, might not harmony demand the sacrifice of one person's rights in order to achieve some larger objective? Does not individual striving to protect one's human rights smack of disharmony? Drawing on both Confucian and contemporary Western philosophy, however, this essay argues that a simultaneous commitment to human rights and to harmony is both coherent and desirable.
The goals of transitional justice advocacy and institutions are commonly portrayed as mutually reinforcing and complementary. This article argues that in evaluating the political significance of transitional justice, more attention should be given to their irreconcilable goals. This analysis is informed by the work of legal scholars and political theorists that have drawn attention to the dual role of law in relation to violence. While law can be a tool for regulating violence and exposing abuses of power, law is also utilized to obfuscate and legitimate abuses of power. Similarly, transitional justice institutions aim to challenge the legitimacy of prior political practices by confronting denial and transforming the terms of debate on past abuses, yet they also seek to establish their own legitimacy by minimizing the challenge that they pose to dominant frameworks for interpreting the past. This article demonstrates how a better understanding of this tension sheds light on problematic assumptions and unacknowledged trade-offs associated with the claims regarding the role of transitional justice institutions in advancing political reconciliation through measures designed to counter denial, expand dialogue, and address trauma. It concludes by discussing the implications of the analysis for transitional justice policy as well as debates on the general significance of expanding transitional justice advocacy.
Efforts to combat trafficking are hindered by poor understandings of the problem. Using Latin America as a case study, this article identifies the definitional, sociological, and legal issues that hinder an accurate assessment of the problem. The article focuses not upon the empirical problems of assessment, but upon those issues within the compass of policy makers and advocates. The article then describes the basic features of trafficking in Latin America and identifies efforts to address the problem, highlighting the role of the United States, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, (TVPA) and the donor/NGO community. Finally, the article suggests appropriate methods for limiting the problem and assisting its victims.
Although Turkey's recent democratization efforts triggered by the accession process to the EU have been considerable, implementation remains a serious problem. As in similar cases, experience has shown that in externally induced democratization processes, the role of internal agents of democratization—through elite socialization—determines the level of implementation. Within this context, the roles played by Turkey's business, army, judiciary, and state bureaucracy are explored.
On Valentine's Day, anniversaries, and throughout the year, suitors and lovers buy cut flowers and diamond and gold jewelry for the objects of their affection. Their purchases are in part a consequence of timely traditions maintained by aggressive marketing. Most buyers are unaware that in gifting their lovers with these aesthetically-beautiful symbols, they are supporting industries which damage the environment, utilize forced labor, cause serious health problems, and contribute to violent conflicts. This article reviews the health and environmental consequences of, and the human rights abuses associated with, the production of cut flowers, gold, and diamonds. Recommendations to improve the safety of production standards are offered, as well as alternative gift suggestions which do not promote environmental degradation, human suffering, and death.
This response raises questions about Jack Donnelly's argument for the "relative universality" of human rights. It shows that Donnelly's reliance on the terms relative and universal dulls many of his sharp analytic points and in some instances leads to inconsistencies in his account. This response also contends that in defending the relative universality of human rights Donnelly obscures or mischaracterizes the bases of their legitimacy. It concludes by arguing that human rights are neither relative nor universal and shows how abandoning this vocabulary would improve our theoretical understanding of them.
Academics generally endorse the Hollywood maxim that there is no such thing as bad publicity. We are particularly pleased when critical discussion of our work is fair, thoughtful, and intelligent. I am thus very happy indeed with Michael Goodhart's commentary on my article. Almost every point that he raises merits serious consideration. I appreciate the opportunity to continue the conversation here.