International Human Rights: Universalism Versus Relativism

Quid Pro Books
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International Human Rights is a classic socio-legal study of the incompatibility and possible reconciliation of competing views of culture relativism and absolute fundamental human rights. It features prodigious research and insight that is much cited by academics and human rights lawyers and activists over two decades. Quality ebook edition features active Contents, linked notes, and proper presentation of text and charts. Are human rights universal? Universalists and cultural relativists have long been debating this question. In INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS, Alison Dundes Renteln reconciles the two positions and argues that, within the vast array of cultural practices and values, it is possible to create structural equivalents to rights in all societies. She poses that empirical cross-cultural research can reveal universal human rights standards, then demonstrates it through an analysis of the concept of measured retribution. INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS provides an unusual combination of abstract theory and empirical evidence. It will interest scholars and students in political science, sociology, anthropology, peace studies, cross-cultural research, and philosophy, as well as human rights activists.
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About the author

Professor of political science at the University of Southern California.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Quid Pro Books
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Published on
May 31, 2013
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Pages
276
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ISBN
9781610271592
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
Social Science / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Marie-Claire Foblets
As individuals travel across borders, societies have become more and more pluralistic. The result of increased migration is the interaction among cultural communities and inevitably clashes between state law and customary law. These cultural conflicts have given rise to a new multicultural jurisprudence. In this volume scholars grapple with the immense challenges judges are currently experiencing everywhere. To what extent can and should courts accommodate litigants' requests by taking their cultural backgrounds into account?



This collection brings together powerful examples of the cultural defense in many countries in Western Europe, North America, and elsewhere. It shows the ubiquity of this defense, contrary to the mistaken impression that it has been invoked principally in the United States. This book makes the case for undertaking studies of the use of the cultural defense in jurisdictions all over the world where this has not been previously documented.



Many of the chapters concentrate on criminal cases including homicide in the context of honour crimes, provocation based on 'loss of face' or witchcraft killings. Some deal with other areas of law such as asylum jurisprudence, family law and housing policy. They show in concrete cases how cultural claims have arisen and how legal systems wrestle with these arguments. It is clear that judges have had considerable difficulty handling many of the cultural claims.



The authors demonstrate persuasively the need to reconsider the proper use of cultural evidence in legal proceedings. Those interested in the ways in which expertise influences the disposition of cases will find this book compelling.
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