Such explanations and understanding draws on the theoretical insights from rational, structural and cultural approaches in the social sciences. This book includes:an outline of the scope of human rights the terrain of key actors that have an impact on human rights a summary of the social science theories, methods and measures for studying human rights a separate treatment of global comparative studies, truth commissions, and human rights impact assessment.
Studying Human Rights is the first book to use the synthesis of social sciences approaches to studying human rights and its quantitative and qualitative approach provides useful insights. This book makes a unique contribution to the existent literature on human rights and is an invaluable tool for both scholars and practitioners of this area.
Dr Jiyoung Song explains how North Korea has understood the concepts of human rights in its public documents since its independence from Japan in 1945. Through active campaigns and international criticism, foreign governments and non-governmental organisations outside North Korea have made numerous allegations of human rights violations. On the other hand, the efforts to engage with North Korea in order to improve the human rights situation through humanitarian assistance and to understand how North Koreans interpret human rights are often overshadowed by "naming and shaming" and "push-until-it-collapses" approaches. Using close readings and analyses of the collected works of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s official newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, as well interviews with North Korean defectors and diplomats in South Korea, China and Europe, Dr Song gives thought-provoking and highly debatable accounts for the historically post-colonial, politically Marxist and culturally Confucian elements of North Korean rights thinking.
As a piece of research on a nation shrouded in mystery this book will be essential reading for anyone researching human rights issues, Asian politics and international relations.
Originally published in 1985.
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