Human Rights: An Introduction

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Longman, 2003 - Political Science - 438 pages
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"Human Rights: An Introduction""" is an important and particularly timely text that provides a comprehensive overview of human rights and related issues from a social science perspective.

The Focus

First, and crucially so, this book does more than discuss theory, it uses case studies and personal testimonies in the debate. Human rights as an area of academic interest cannot be easily divorced from human rights struggles and the reality of contemporary conditions.Second, the book is aimed at what is an emerging and growing cross-disciplinary field of study. Human rights issues are increasingly coming to the fore in a number of academic debates. Whereas the study of human rights has traditionally been included in departments of law, international relations and philosophy, a number of courses are now being set up in departments of sociology and anthropology. Consequently, there is an increasing need to bring these disparate approaches together.

The Content

  • The book is engagingly written and combines case studies and personal testimonies with analyses of theoretical perspectives.
  • The text bridges the gap between the library of philosophical works on rights, and the various publications produced by campaigning organizations and activist groups.
  • The book discusses existing research on human rights and suggests how the ideas of contemporary thinkers may be relevant for furthering our understanding.
  • The book provides the reader with thorough knowledge of philosophical, legal, historical, and sociological material on human rights. These include theories and perspectives, acts and covenants, and statistical data.
  • The book effectively covers such important topics as censorship, political prisoners, torture, the death penalty, apartheid, slavery, genocide, and the plight of refugees.
  • The book concludes with an overview of emerging areas in the discourse on human rights, including environmental concerns, the role of business and non-state actors, women s rights, children s rights, and the impact of globalization upon human rights debates and realities.
  • The book includes a foreword by Dan Jones MBE, human rights educationalist at Amnesty International.
The Author
Dr Darren J. O'Byrne is Lecturer in Sociology and Cultural Studies at the University of Surrey Roehampton, UK, where he is responsible for the new undergraduate program in Human Rights. His specialist areas of interest are human rights, globalization, political sociology and critical theory.

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Fantastic book for an academic or an interested spectator. Covering every major area concerning Human Rights and with great use of language to covey points. Would highly recommend.

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