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Human Rights and the Ethics of Globalization

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  • Date Published: September 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521147996

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About the Authors
  • Human Rights and the Ethics of Globalization provides a balanced, thoughtful discussion of the globalization of the economy and the ethical considerations inherent in the many changes it has prompted. The book’s introduction maps out the philosophical foundations for constructing an ethic of globalization, taking into account both traditional and contemporary sources. These ideals are applied to four specific test cases: the ethics of investing in China, the case study of the Firestone company’s presence in Liberia, free-trade and fair-trade issues pertaining to the coffee trade with Ethiopia, and the use low-wage factories in Mexico to serve the U.S. market. The book concludes with a comprehensive discussion of how to enforce global compliance with basic human rights standards, with particular attention to stopping abuses by multinational corporations through litigation under the Alien Tort Claims Act.

    • Discussion of human rights is grounded in philosophical theory as well as tested on relevant case studies in a range of countries often ignored in human rights literature
    • Provides a cohesive definition of human rights as a basis for this discussion
    • Proposes a concrete means of enforcing compliance with human rights standards, based on a specific tool of enforcement, the Alien Tort Claims Act
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    • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2011

    Reviews & endorsements

    “Dan and Elizabeth Lee have written a concise, courageous, and creative book. Richly philosophical, they dare to go beyond the philosopher’s ruminations and provide frameworks, guidance, and answers for some of today’s most difficult issues in corporate responsibility. This is one of the best books in business ethics I’ve read in years!”
    – Timothy Fort, Institute for Corporate Responsibility and George Washington University School of Business

    “In Human Rights and the Ethics of Globalization, the Lees have done the unthinkable: they have managed to create a clear, coherent framework for exploring and understanding one of the more complex topics of our time. By providing a philosophical foundation for delving into a phenomenon that crosses international boundaries, affects private actors and governments alike, and operates along political, social, and economic dimensions, the Lees have produced a major contribution, which will be appreciated by scholars and lay readers alike. The seamless transition between theory and practical case studies makes the book a truly enjoyable reading experience.”
    – Georgie Geraghty, Lecturer, University of Chicago Law School

    "Daniel Lee (Augustana College) and Elizabeth Lee (assistant federal public defender, Tucson, Arizona), a father/daughter team, have written a fascinating scholarly book that is drawn from years of experience in teaching business ethics and law, and human rights work.... Each chapter is well written in a clear and thoughtful way. This reviewer found the book to be a breath of fresh air in the often muddled and acrimonious debate over human rights and globalization. This book is an excellent read for those who want a balanced, well-thought-out argument on the linkages between human rights and globalization. An excellent starter for classroom discussion.... Essential...."
    -K.J. Cooney, Northwest University, CHOICE

    "...The book is valuable because it targets issues of interest to the general public that arise out of transnational business operations. The authors use a clear and straightforward presentation style and rely on four concrete case studies to illustrate their theoretical arguments..."
    -Graham Mayeda, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, The Canadian Yearbook of International Law

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521147996
    • length: 282 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 150 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Philosophical Foundations:
    1. Defining human rights in a coherent manner
    2. Near neighbors, distant neighbors and the ethics of globalization
    3. Ethical guidelines for business in an age of globalization
    Part II. Practical Applications:
    4. Human rights and the ethics of investment in China
    5. Liberia and Firestone: a case study
    6. Free trade, fair trade, and coffee farmers in Ethiopia
    7. Maquiladoras: exploitation, economic opportunity or both?
    Part III. The Challenge of Enforcement:
    8. Possibilities and problems
    9. Human rights, US multinational corporations and the Alien Tort Claims Act

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Ethics and the Professions
    • Ethics of Globalization
    • Global Ethics and Human Rights
    • Human Rights & Environmental Sustainability
    • International Human Rigths
    • Personal and Community Ethics
    • Religion Culture and Human Rights
  • Authors

    Daniel E. Lee, Augustana College, Illinois
    Daniel E. Lee is Professor of Ethics and director of the Center for the Study of Ethics at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including Hope Is Where We Least Expect to Find It (1993), Generations and the Challenge of Justice (1996), Navigating Right and Wrong (2002) and Freedom vs Intervention (2005). He has also published op-ed pieces in USA Today, the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers and is a published poet and author of fiction.

    Elizabeth J. Lee, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Tucson, Arizona
    Elizabeth J. Lee is Assistant Federal Public Defender in Houston, Texas. She received her JD from Northwestern University School of Law and served as a clerk at the Center for International Human Rights there. She also clerked for Arizona Supreme Court Justice Michael D. Ryan and has published an article in the Global Studies Journal.


    • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2011

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