The Twilight of Human Rights Law (Inalienable Rights)

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9780199313440: The Twilight of Human Rights Law (Inalienable Rights)

Countries solemnly intone their commitment to human rights, and they ratify endless international treaties and conventions designed to signal that commitment. At the same time, there has been no marked decrease in human rights violations, even as the language of human rights has become the dominant mode of international moral criticism. Well-known violators like Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan have sat on the U.N. Council on Human Rights. But it's not just the usual suspects that flagrantly disregard the treaties. Brazil pursues extrajudicial killings. South Africa employs violence against protestors. India tolerate child labor and slavery. The United States tortures.

In The Twilight of Human Rights Law--the newest addition to Oxford's highly acclaimed Inalienable Rights series edited by Geoffrey Stone--the eminent legal scholar Eric A. Posner argues that purposefully unenforceable human rights treaties are at the heart of the world's failure to address human rights violations. Because countries fundamentally disagree about what the public good requires and how governments should allocate limited resources in order to advance it, they have established a regime that gives them maximum flexibility--paradoxically characterized by a huge number of vague human rights that encompass nearly all human activity, along with weak enforcement machinery that churns out new rights but cannot enforce any of them. Posner looks to the foreign aid model instead, contending that we should judge compliance by comprehensive, concrete metrics like poverty reduction, instead of relying on ambiguous, weak, and easily manipulated checklists of specific rights.

With a powerful thesis, a concise overview of the major developments in international human rights law, and discussions of recent international human rights-related controversies, The Twilight of Human Rights Law is an indispensable contribution to this important area of international law from a leading scholar in the field.

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About the Author:


Eric A. Posner teaches at the University of Chicago. He has written nine books and more than one hundred articles on international law, constitutional law, and other topics. He has written opinion pieces for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New Republic, Slate, and other popular media. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Law Institute.

Review:


"The Twilight of Human Rights Law is an important assessment of human rights law, useful for human rights scholars in general, persons interested in European Union law or anyone who desires a current analysis of human rights law." -Yasmin Morais, University of the District of Columbia Law School, DipLawMatic Dialogues


"...Mr. Posner's skepticism is bracing, and his claims usefully force readers back to the question of what we mean when we talk about human rights." -- Wall Street Journal


"Posner makes a strong case that human rights law needs to be approached with more care, more humility, and less hubris." - Reason.com


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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In International Human Rights, acclaimed legal scholar Eric Posner seeks to explain a paradox: the language of human rights is now the dominant mode of international moral criticism of governments, and yet the evidence suggests that most countries flagrantly violate the human rights treaties that they solemnly ratify. The prevailing consensus, he notes, is that governments should promote the well-being of citizens in their countries, and that in extreme cases, foreign countries should intervene and replace governments that fail to comply with this duty. The problem, he contends, is countries disagree on how they can achieve those goals. This weakness is on full display in existing human rights treaties, and the result is a general failure. Because countries have not been able to agree about well-being, they ended up negotiating treaties that are vague and (by design) unenforceable. In addition, countries have ensured that international organizations possess weak enforcement powers. Moreover, when enforcement does occur, it is invariably partial and scattershot. In whack-a-mole style, target countries can compensate for addressing some violations by reducing their compliance with other norms that are not the focus of enforcement. Posner closes by arguing that foreign aid provides a better model for pressuring governments to improve their treatment of citizens. Under the foreign aid regime, western countries look at overall indicators of well-being in other countries-such as per capita GDP-and offer aid based on whether it is likely to help people escape poverty. Governments that make progress in reducing poverty should be deemed in compliance with their human rights obligations, and we should not waste time trying to enforce more specific rights like freedom of the press or the right to privacy. In addition to offering a powerful and provocative thesis, this is a concise introduction to international human rights law. Posner describes the major treaties and the major international organizations; the evidence regarding the effect of human rights treaties on the behavior of governments; and recent international controversies over human rights such as the United States use of torture, China s persecution of political dissidents, and the debate over the alleged right against defamation of religion. Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780199313440

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In International Human Rights, acclaimed legal scholar Eric Posner seeks to explain a paradox: the language of human rights is now the dominant mode of international moral criticism of governments, and yet the evidence suggests that most countries flagrantly violate the human rights treaties that they solemnly ratify. The prevailing consensus, he notes, is that governments should promote the well-being of citizens in their countries, and that in extreme cases, foreign countries should intervene and replace governments that fail to comply with this duty. The problem, he contends, is countries disagree on how they can achieve those goals. This weakness is on full display in existing human rights treaties, and the result is a general failure. Because countries have not been able to agree about well-being, they ended up negotiating treaties that are vague and (by design) unenforceable. In addition, countries have ensured that international organizations possess weak enforcement powers. Moreover, when enforcement does occur, it is invariably partial and scattershot. In whack-a-mole style, target countries can compensate for addressing some violations by reducing their compliance with other norms that are not the focus of enforcement. Posner closes by arguing that foreign aid provides a better model for pressuring governments to improve their treatment of citizens. Under the foreign aid regime, western countries look at overall indicators of well-being in other countries-such as per capita GDP-and offer aid based on whether it is likely to help people escape poverty. Governments that make progress in reducing poverty should be deemed in compliance with their human rights obligations, and we should not waste time trying to enforce more specific rights like freedom of the press or the right to privacy. In addition to offering a powerful and provocative thesis, this is a concise introduction to international human rights law. Posner describes the major treaties and the major international organizations; the evidence regarding the effect of human rights treaties on the behavior of governments; and recent international controversies over human rights such as the United States use of torture, China s persecution of political dissidents, and the debate over the alleged right against defamation of religion. Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780199313440

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In International Human Rights, acclaimed legal scholar Eric Posner seeks to explain a paradox: the language of human rights is now the dominant mode of international moral criticism of governments, and yet the evidence suggests that most countries flagrantly violate the human rights treaties that they solemnly ratify. The prevailing consensus, he notes, is that governments should promote the well-being of citizens in their countries, and that in extreme cases, foreign countries should intervene and replace governments that fail to comply with this duty. The problem, he contends, is countries disagree on how they can achieve those goals. This weakness is on full display in existing human rights treaties, and the result is a general failure. Because countries have not been able to agree about well-being, they ended up negotiating treaties that are vague and (by design) unenforceable. In addition, countries have ensured that international organizations possess weak enforcement powers. Moreover, when enforcement does occur, it is invariably partial and scattershot. In whack-a-mole style, target countries can compensate for addressing some violations by reducing their compliance with other norms that are not the focus of enforcement. Posner closes by arguing that foreign aid provides a better model for pressuring governments to improve their treatment of citizens. Under the foreign aid regime, western countries look at overall indicators of well-being in other countries-such as per capita GDP-and offer aid based on whether it is likely to help people escape poverty. Governments that make progress in reducing poverty should be deemed in compliance with their human rights obligations, and we should not waste time trying to enforce more specific rights like freedom of the press or the right to privacy. In addition to offering a powerful and provocative thesis, this is a concise introduction to international human rights law. Posner describes the major treaties and the major international organizations; the evidence regarding the effect of human rights treaties on the behavior of governments; and recent international controversies over human rights such as the United States use of torture, China s persecution of political dissidents, and the debate over the alleged right against defamation of religion. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780199313440

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Book Description Oxford University Press, 2014. Book Condition: New. Nearly all countries have ratified nearly all the major human rights treaties, and all governments profess support for human rights, yet most countries flagrantly violate the human rights of their citizens. Series: Inalienable Rights. Num Pages: 200 pages, black & white tables. BIC Classification: JPVH; LBBR. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 216 x 146 x 19. Weight in Grams: 330. . 2014. 1st Edition. Hardcover. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780199313440

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