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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Uri Professor Launches Online Journal About Sexual Exploitation, Violence, Slavery, Donna M. Hughes Dr. Apr 2017

Uri Professor Launches Online Journal About Sexual Exploitation, Violence, Slavery, Donna M. Hughes Dr.

Donna M. Hughes

Sexual exploitation and violence are rampant throughout the world, and academics are rightly pushing the issue into the public eye through their research and articles. University of Rhode Island professor Donna M. Hughes is at the forefront of the movement with the launch of an online academic journal, “Dignity,” dedicated to publishing papers about sexual exploitation, violence and slavery. The journal is the first academic journal in the world to address global sexual exploitation and well on its way to success.


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 ...


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 ...


Legal Mechanization Of Corporate Social Responsibility Through Alien Tort Statute Litigation: A Response To Professor Branson With Some Supplemental Thoughts, Donald J. Kochan Jul 2011

Legal Mechanization Of Corporate Social Responsibility Through Alien Tort Statute Litigation: A Response To Professor Branson With Some Supplemental Thoughts, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

This Response argues that as ATS jurisprudence “matures” or becomes more sophisticated, the legitimate limits of the law regress. The further expansion within the corporate defendant pool – attempting to pin liability on parent, great grandparent corporations and up to the top – raises the stakes and complexity of ATS litigation. The corporate social responsibility discussion raises three principal issues about how a moral corporation lives its life: how a corporation chooses its self-interest versus the interests of others, when and how it should help others if control decisions may harm the shareholder owners, and how far the corporation must affirmatively go ...


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 ...


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 ...


Should New Bills Of Rights Address Emerging International Human Rights Norms? The Challenge Of “Defamation Of Religion”, Robert C. Blitt Dec 2009

Should New Bills Of Rights Address Emerging International Human Rights Norms? The Challenge Of “Defamation Of Religion”, Robert C. Blitt

Robert C. Blitt

The emerging international human rights norm of “defamation of religion,” an ongoing flashpoint in debates at the United Nations (UN) and elsewhere, merits the attention of all parties playing a role in the drafting of new bills of rights. This article uses the case study of defamation of religion, as an emerging norm and the current debate over a possible Australian bill of rights, to argue that a well-rounded drafting process. This drafting process should contemplate the relevancy and impact of emerging norms as a means of enhancing the process, deepening domestic understanding of rights, and ensuring an outcome instrument ...


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 ...


'Babushka Said Two Things - It Will Either Rain Or Snow; It Either Will Or Will Not': An Analysis Of The Provisions And Human Rights Implications Of Russia's New Law On Nongovernmental Organizations As Told Through Eleven Russian Proverbs, Robert Blitt Dec 2007

'Babushka Said Two Things - It Will Either Rain Or Snow; It Either Will Or Will Not': An Analysis Of The Provisions And Human Rights Implications Of Russia's New Law On Nongovernmental Organizations As Told Through Eleven Russian Proverbs, Robert Blitt

Robert C. Blitt

Longtime observers of Russia increasingly have called attention to and expressed profound concern for the direction the Russian Federation has taken in recent years. In advancing President Putin's vision of "dictatorship of law" and "managed democracy," the Russian government has retreated from key democratic reforms, undermining the transition away from Soviet rule and imperiling significant gains in fundamental human rights. It is against this backdrop that, in January 2006, President Putin ratified major amendments to the 1996 Law on Nonprofit Organizations, which regulates the creation, reorganization, activity, and liquidation of NGOs in Russia. Putin has claimed that the amendments ...


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...


No Longer Little Known But Now A Door Ajar: An Overview Of The Evolving And Dangerous Role Of The Alien Tort Statute In Human Rights And International Law Jurisprudence, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2004

No Longer Little Known But Now A Door Ajar: An Overview Of The Evolving And Dangerous Role Of The Alien Tort Statute In Human Rights And International Law Jurisprudence, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

Human rights’ and other international law activists have long worked to add teeth to their tasks. One of the most interesting avenues for such enforcement has been the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”). The ATS has become the primary vehicle for injecting international norms and human rights into United States courts – against nation-states, state actors, and even private individuals or corporations alleged to actually or in complicity or conspiracy been responsible for supposed violations of international law. This Symposium Article provides an overview of the ATS evolution (or revolution), discusses the most recent significant development in the evolution arising from some ...


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 ...