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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Sexual Violence In The Field Of Vision, Sharon Sliwinski Dec 2017

Sexual Violence In The Field Of Vision, Sharon Sliwinski

Sharon Sliwinski

Meditating on a single photograph from a recent Human Rights Watch report concerning police violence in Northern British Columbia, Canada, this paper pursues two lines of questions about the visual politics of human rights. One concerns how our ways of seeing—our modes of attending to the vulnerability and integrity of particular persons—can itself be understood as a form of human rights practice. The other aims to widen space in contemporary political theory for thinking about how sexual violence functions as a central technology of sovereignty and how we might make this phenomenon more perceptible. The paper explores the ...


Framing The Issues In Moral Terms Iii: Rights And Right Conduct, Robert Williams Dec 2014

Framing The Issues In Moral Terms Iii: Rights And Right Conduct, Robert Williams

Robert E. Williams Jr.

The development of a global human rights culture has had a profound effect on the way discussions of military ethics are framed. This is most apparent in the development of the “responsibility to protect” norm amid a broader debate concerning military intervention to stop serious human rights abuses. With policymakers and international lawyers, many just war theorists have adopted an understanding of military ethics centered on human rights. This essay describes the development of the rights-based perspective on the use of force and its impact on key questions regarding the resort to war and just conduct in war.


Inventing Human Dignity, Sharon Sliwinski Dec 2014

Inventing Human Dignity, Sharon Sliwinski

Sharon Sliwinski

Are human beings endowed with an inviolable dignity? Or is dignity something that is lost and won? One of the most significant assertions made in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is the statement that every individual possesses an inalienable dignity simply by virtue of belonging to the human family.” This chapter aims to make a modest contribution to the emerging scholarship on the history and meaning of dignity as it pertains to universal human rights. My goal is to trace how this particular quality came to be affixed to the human person. The ...


Reconciling Positivism And Realism: Kelsen And Habermas On Democracy And Human Rights, David Ingram Oct 2013

Reconciling Positivism And Realism: Kelsen And Habermas On Democracy And Human Rights, David Ingram

David Ingram

It is well known that Hans Kelsen and Jürgen Habermas invoke realist arguments drawn from social science in defending an international, democratic human rights regime against Carl Schmitt’s attack on the rule of law. However, despite embracing the realist spirit of Kelsen’s legal positivism, Habermas criticizes Kelsen for neglecting to connect the rule of law with a concept of procedural justice (Part I). I argue, to the contrary (Part II), that Kelsen does connect these terms, albeit in a manner that may be best described as functional, rather than conceptual. Indeed, whereas Habermas tends to emphasize a conceptual ...


Of Sweatshops And Human Subsistence: Habermas On Human Rights, David Ingram Oct 2013

Of Sweatshops And Human Subsistence: Habermas On Human Rights, David Ingram

David Ingram

In this paper I argue that the discourse theoretic account of human rights defended by Jürgen Habermas contains a fruitful tension that is obscured by its dominant tendency to identify rights with legal claims. This weakness in Habermas’s account becomes manifest when we examine how sweatshops diminish the secure enjoyment of subsistence, which Habermas himself (in recognition of the UDHR) recognizes as a human right. Discourse theories of human rights are unique in tying the legitimacy of human rights to democratic deliberation and consensus. So construed, their specific meaning and force is the outcome of historical political struggle. However ...


Beyond Ruggie’S Guiding Principles On Business And Human Rights: Charting An Embracive Approach To Corporate Human Rights Compliance, Robert Blitt Dec 2011

Beyond Ruggie’S Guiding Principles On Business And Human Rights: Charting An Embracive Approach To Corporate Human Rights Compliance, Robert Blitt

Robert C. Blitt

To what extent should or must a corporation poised to undertake a significant international merger contemplate international human rights law? This chapter explores human rights issues related to corporate responsibility using the 2011 United Nations Guiding Principles on the effective prevention of, and remedy for, business-related human rights harm as a jumping off point. Students will be introduced to core international human rights concepts, particularly as they relate to emerging standards and best practices applicable to business-related activities.


Springtime For Freedom Of Religion Or Belief: Will Newly Democratic Arab States Guarantee International Human Rights Norms Or Perpetuate Their Violation?, Robert Blitt Dec 2011

Springtime For Freedom Of Religion Or Belief: Will Newly Democratic Arab States Guarantee International Human Rights Norms Or Perpetuate Their Violation?, Robert Blitt

Robert C. Blitt

The Arab Spring has generated unprecedented and seismic political and social upheaval across the Arab world. The reasons for the outbreak of widespread and vociferous public protest are myriad, but generally understood as including long-simmering resentment of government corruption and repression, underwhelming economic development, chronic unemployment and poor respect for human rights, including the treatment of individuals and groups affiliated with political manifestations of Islam. Despite the initial drama surrounding the street rallies, two years on, the pace of change has grown fitful and uncertain. The purpose of this chapter is to consider one narrow aspect of the Arab Spring ...


Natural Rights To Welfare, Siegfried Van Duffel Dec 2011

Natural Rights To Welfare, Siegfried Van Duffel

Siegfried Van Duffel

No abstract provided.


Whither Secular Bear: The Russian Orthodox Church’S Strengthening Influence On Russia's Domestic And Foreign Policy, Robert Blitt Dec 2010

Whither Secular Bear: The Russian Orthodox Church’S Strengthening Influence On Russia's Domestic And Foreign Policy, Robert Blitt

Robert C. Blitt

As 2012 presidential elections in Russia draw near, evidence points to a collapse in that country’s constitutional obligation of secularism and state-church separation. Although early signs of this phenomenon can be traced back to the Yeltsin era, the Putin and Medvedev presidencies have dealt a fatal blow to secular state policy manifested both at home and abroad, as well as to Russia’s constitutional human rights principles including nondiscrimination and equality of religious beliefs. The first part of this article argues that leadership changes in the Russian government and the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) have triggered an unprecedented deepening ...


Human Rights In Camera, Sharon Sliwinski Dec 2010

Human Rights In Camera, Sharon Sliwinski

Sharon Sliwinski

From the fundamental rights proclaimed in the American and French declarations of independence to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Hannah Arendt’s furious critiques, the definition of what it means to be human has been hotly debated. But the history of human rights—and their abuses—is also a richly illustrated one. Following this picture trail, Human Rights In Camera takes an innovative approach by examining the visual images that have accompanied human rights struggles and the passionate responses people have had to them.


Russia’S 'Orthodox' Foreign Policy: The Growing Influence Of The Russian Orthodox Church In Shaping Russia’S Policies Abroad, Robert Blitt Dec 2010

Russia’S 'Orthodox' Foreign Policy: The Growing Influence Of The Russian Orthodox Church In Shaping Russia’S Policies Abroad, Robert Blitt

Robert C. Blitt

The government of Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) - the country’s predominant religious group - recently underwent back-to-back changes in each institution’s respective leadership. This coincidence of timing has afforded a unique opportunity to reexamine the status of constitutional secularism and church-state relations in the Russian Federation. In the short space of two years, the partnership of President Dmitri Medvedev and Patriarch Kirill has further entrenched a discriminatory three-tiered status system for religious groups and - perhaps more significantly - has generated multiple new channels of influence for the ROC in Russian social and political life, including handing the Church ...


Defamation Of Religion: Rumors Of Its Death Are Greatly Exaggerated, Robert Blitt Dec 2010

Defamation Of Religion: Rumors Of Its Death Are Greatly Exaggerated, Robert Blitt

Robert C. Blitt

This Article explores the recent decisions by the United Nations (“UN”) Human Rights Council and General Assembly to adopt consensus resolutions aimed at “combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief.” These resolutions represent an effort to move past a decade’s worth of contentious roll call votes in favor of prohibiting defamation of religion within the international human rights framework. Although labeled “historic” resolutions, this Article argues that the UN’s new compromise approach endorsed in 2011 — motivated in part by the desire to end years ...


The Aesthetics Of Human Rights, Sharon Sliwinski Dec 2008

The Aesthetics Of Human Rights, Sharon Sliwinski

Sharon Sliwinski

This essay situates the 1755 Lisbon earthquake as an alternate origin point for human rights discourse. As one of the most destructive earthquakes in recorded history, the event had a broad effect on both scientific and philosophical thought. The quake also represents one of the first modern mass media events in which subjects throughout Europe became spectators to a distant catastrophe. Both visual and verbal representations of the event circulated throughout Europe with incredible efficiency and helped inaugurate a secular notion of human suffering as well as thoughts about its prevention. The story of the quake shows that the notion ...


Analysis Of The Republic Of Tajikistan's Draft Law 'About Freedom Of Conscience And Religious Unions', Robert Blitt, W. Durham Dec 2007

Analysis Of The Republic Of Tajikistan's Draft Law 'About Freedom Of Conscience And Religious Unions', Robert Blitt, W. Durham

Robert C. Blitt

This article, prepared at the request of the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), provides an article-by-article detailed legal analysis of key shortcomings in Tajikistan's draft law About Freedom of Conscience and Religious Unions. Based on their analysis, the authors provide recommendations for amendments directed at ensuring that the final draft law complies with Tajikistan's international and domestic human rights obligations.


How To Entrench A De Facto State Church In Russia: A Guide In Progress, Robert Blitt Dec 2007

How To Entrench A De Facto State Church In Russia: A Guide In Progress, Robert Blitt

Robert C. Blitt

The Russian Orthodox Church's (ROC) assertion of a constitutionally inappropriate role in affairs of state has severely compromised Russia's secular constitutional framework. This gradual but steady erosion of the barrier between church and state is evidenced by a series of contemporary developments that are inexorably linked to the Church's vision of its traditional place in Russian history. Disturbingly, each successive post-communist regime has further enabled this behavior, and there is no indication that the political transition from President Vladimir Putin to his hand-picked successor, Dmitry Medvedev, will change anything. This paper argues that the emerging pattern of ...


Human And Fundamental Rights And Duties In Portuguese Constitution. Some Reflections, Paulo Ferreira Da Cunha Dec 2007

Human And Fundamental Rights And Duties In Portuguese Constitution. Some Reflections, Paulo Ferreira Da Cunha

Paulo Ferreira da Cunha

The Portuguese Constitution (1976) came after a period of 48 years of authoritarianism and a closed society, in which some happy few enjoyed great privileges while the great majority of people were charged with heavy duties So, by a very understandable "law of human nature", the constituent law givers could not reasonably impose constitutionally many obligations, in an autonomous way. As rights and duties are the twin sides of the same coin, the juridical formulation under the sign of rights also implies obligations, related to those same rights. This is kinder and more pleasant to do by a liberating Constitution...


The Childhood Of Human Rights: The Kodak On The Congo, Sharon Sliwinski Dec 2005

The Childhood Of Human Rights: The Kodak On The Congo, Sharon Sliwinski

Sharon Sliwinski

This article examines the Congo reform movement's use of atrocity photographs in their human rights campaign (c. 1904–13) against Belgian King Leopold, colonial ruler of the Congo Free State. This material analysis shows that human rights are conceived by spectators who, with the aid of the photographic apparatus, are compelled to judge that crimes against humanity are occurring to others. The article also tracks how this judgement has been haunted by the potent wish to undo the suffering witnessed.


Who Will Watch The Watchdogs?: International Human Rights Nongovernmental Organizations And The Case For Regulation, Robert Blitt Dec 2003

Who Will Watch The Watchdogs?: International Human Rights Nongovernmental Organizations And The Case For Regulation, Robert Blitt

Robert C. Blitt

Human rights nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have become a fixture within the international system and a driving force for creating and enforcing human rights norms at international law. This essay examines the growth of human rights NGOs and argues that the industry is in urgent need of formal regulation. After assessing the failure of informal market controls for ensuring accountability within the human rights NGO sector, this paper applies a law and economics consumer protection model to underscore the need for more formal regulation. However, rather than advance a case for government intervention, this paper proposes that human rights NGOs themselves ...


Buffalo's "Prophet Of Protest": The Political Leadership And Activism Of Reverend Dr. Bennett W. Smith, Sr., Sherri Wallace Jun 2001

Buffalo's "Prophet Of Protest": The Political Leadership And Activism Of Reverend Dr. Bennett W. Smith, Sr., Sherri Wallace

Sherri L. Wallace

Recently voted as one of Western New York's most influential people for the twentieth century (Gallivan 1999), the Reverend Dr. [Bennett W. Smith, Sr.] Sr.'s own electoral and political activism clearly emanate from the ethical expressions of the social justice ministry of his late friend and comrade, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King characterized social justice in terms of "comprehensive social empowerment." He believed that freedom for African-Americans without empowerment (i.e. "Civil Rights"), land and/or other social/economic resources, was not "true" freedom (Walker 1991, 24). King's philosophy, similar to Stokely Carmichael's ...