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Human Rights in the United States
Beyond Exceptionalism

$39.99 (Z)

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Dorothy Q. Thomas, Kathryn Libal, Shareen Hertel, Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, Mimi Abramovitz, Cathy Albisa, Risa Kaufman, Sally Engle Merry, Jessica Shimmin, Jonathan Todres, Jean Connolly Carmalt, Sarah Zaidi, Alicia Ely Yamin, Joanne Bauer, Michael Ashley Stein, Janet E. Lord, Bethany R. Berger, Ken Neubeck, Mie Lewis, Julie Mertus, Davida Finger, Rachel E. Luft
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  • Date Published: April 2011
  • availability: Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107400870

$39.99 (Z)
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About the Authors
  • This book brings to light emerging evidence of a shift toward a fuller engagement with international human rights norms and their application to domestic policy dilemmas in the United States. The volume offers a rich history, spanning close to three centuries, of the marginalization of human rights discourse in the United States. Contributors analyze particular cases of U.S. human rights advocacy aimed at addressing persistent inequalities within the United States itself, including advocacy on the rights of persons with disabilities; indigenous peoples; lone mother-headed families; incarcerated persons; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people; and those displaced by natural disasters, most notably Hurricane Katrina. The book also explores key arenas in which legal scholars, policy practitioners, and grassroots activists are challenging multiple divides between “public” and “private” spheres (for example, in connection with children's rights and domestic violence) and between “public” and “private” sectors (specifically, in relation to healthcare and business and human rights).

    • This book reviews major US case law on discrimination, linking it to international human rights scholarship and law
    • It includes both solid historical analysis of human rights violations in the USA and cutting-edge accounts of contemporary activism
    • The contributors are a high-profile group of interdisciplinary academics and activists, including pioneers in the field of human rights in the USA
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This volume brings together a stellar array of interdisciplinary thinkers and leaders to analyze the past, present and future of human rights frameworks in the United States. The result is a wide-ranging status report that outlines successes as well as failures and points toward next steps for those interested in moving beyond exceptionalism to a nuanced and active engagement with human rights. There is much to learn from these thought-provoking contributions, from the role of human rights in post-Katrina politics to the legal status of human rights in the United States to the significance of human rights frames for marginalized populations. It is rare that a single collection provides so many light-bulb moments!"
    - Martha F. Davis
    Associate Dean and Professor of Law
    Northeastern University School of Law
    Co-editor, Bringing Human Rights Home

    "The chapters in this volume exhibit a uniformly high quality, and, moreover, span a wide spectrum of human rights....The editors of this volume make and clarify the important link between progressivism and human rights."
    -The Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107400870
    • length: 394 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • contains: 1 table
    • availability: Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer
  • Table of Contents

    Foreword: are Americans human? Reflections on the future of progressive politics in the United States Dorothy Q. Thomas
    1. Paradoxes and possibilities: domestic human rights policy in context Kathryn Libal and Shareen Hertel
    Part I. Structuring Debates, Institutionalizing Rights:
    2. The yellow sweatshirt: human dignity and economic human rights in advanced industrialized democracies Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann
    3. The welfare state: a battleground for human rights Mimi Abramovitz
    4. Drawing lines in the sand: building economic and social rights in the United States Cathy Albisa
    5. State and local commissions as sites for domestic human rights implementation Risa Kaufman
    Part II. Challenging Public/Private Divides:
    6. The curious resistance to seeing domestic violence as a human rights violation in the United States Sally Engle Merry and Jessica Shimmin
    7. At the crossroads: children's rights and the US government Jonathan Todres
    8. Entrenched inequity: healthcare in the United States Jean Connolly Carmalt, Sarah Zaidi and Alicia Ely Yamin
    9. Business and human rights: a new approach to advancing environmental justice in the United States Joanne Bauer
    Part III. From the Margins to the Center: Making Harms Visible through Human Rights Framing:
    10. The law and politics of US participation in the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities Michael Ashley Stein and Janet E. Lord
    11. The anomaly of citizenship for indigenous rights Bethany R. Berger
    12. Human rights violations as obstacles to escaping poverty: the case of lone mother-headed families Ken Neubeck
    13. The human rights of children in conflict with the law: lessons for the US human rights movement Mie Lewis
    14. LGBT rights as human rights in the United States: opportunities lost Julie Mertus
    15. No shelter: disaster politics in Louisiana and the struggle for human rights Davida Finger and Rachel E. Luft.

  • Editors

    Shareen Hertel, University of Connecticut
    Shareen Hertel is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut and holds a joint appointment with the university's Human Rights Institute. She has served as a consultant to foundations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and United Nations agencies in the United States, Latin America and South Asia. She is the author of Unexpected Power: Conflict and Change Among Transnational Activists (2006), co-editor of Economic Rights: Conceptual, Measurement, and Policy Issues (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and has published numerous scholarly articles. Hertel is incoming editor of The Journal of Human Rights and serves on the editorial boards of Human Rights Review, Human Rights and Human Welfare, and the International Studies Intensives book series of Paradigm Publishers.

    Kathryn Libal, University of Connecticut
    Dr Kathryn Libal is an Assistant Professor of Community Organization in the School of Social Work at the University of Connecticut. She has written on child welfare, children's rights and the state in Turkey. Libal is currently writing on international NGO advocacy for Iraqi forced migrants and on failures of the US welfare state to fulfil the economic human rights of children. Her research has been published in the Human Rights Review, Social Work, Violence against Women, the Journal for Middle East Women's Studies and a number of edited volumes on human rights, social welfare, international social work and anthropology.

    Contributors

    Dorothy Q. Thomas, Kathryn Libal, Shareen Hertel, Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, Mimi Abramovitz, Cathy Albisa, Risa Kaufman, Sally Engle Merry, Jessica Shimmin, Jonathan Todres, Jean Connolly Carmalt, Sarah Zaidi, Alicia Ely Yamin, Joanne Bauer, Michael Ashley Stein, Janet E. Lord, Bethany R. Berger, Ken Neubeck, Mie Lewis, Julie Mertus, Davida Finger, Rachel E. Luft

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