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Week 2

by: Savannah Harrington
Savannah Harrington
GPA 3.4
Human Rights
Noha Shawki

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About this Document

Second Week of Notes
Human Rights
Noha Shawki
Class Notes
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Savannah Harrington on Monday September 28, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to 352 at Illinois State University taught by Noha Shawki in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 40 views. For similar materials see Human Rights in Political Science at Illinois State University.


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Date Created: 09/28/15
August 25 2015 Civil and political rights Typically the gov t just has to refrain or step back from something Typically freedom FROM things ex from arbitrary arrest etc Focus on liberty and freedom Social and economic rights Gov t has to be proactive Ex ensure everyone has healthcare food etc Focus on economic social and cultural issues Donnelly Chapter 2 Philosophies of Human Rights The inalienability of human rights Equality in the enjoyment of rights equal concern and respect Difference between something being right and someone having a right it is right to be nice and polite but if you are rude you are not violating a human right because you aren t breaking a human right 0 Having a right implies a special relationship between rightholder and duty bearer 0 Having a right implies entitlement 0 Having a right implies practices and institutions that guarantee enjoyment of the right 0 Human rights are moral rights that are invoked whenever and where they are not provided in national laws and practices the human rights language is used by individuals and groups to change laws and practices in a way that will protect their human rights International HRs are grounded in our shared humanity and inherent human dignity HR are not only about securing life survival they are about guaranteeing a life with dignity for all For this reason HR encompasses a lot more than rights to food physical integrity etc They are not meant to just life but to live with dignity and prosperity The human nature that is the source of HR is a moral account of human possibility It re ects what human beings might becomequot p 2 1 if all HRs were implemented Not everything that is good is a human right we do not have HRs to friendship talent beauty or charity but HRs are the minimum set of goods services opportunities and protections that are widely recognized today as essential prerequisites for a life of dignityquot p 26 HRs are interdependent and indivisible enjoyment of one set of rights require securing guaranteeing other rights All rights together make possible a life of dignity 0 According to Donnelly the distinction between negative and positive rights is not compelling do you agree Do you believe that economic social and cultural rights eg the rights to food education and work are as important as civil and political rights eg freedoms of speech association and right to fair trial Why or why not You can t just give some rights but deny some ie well we feed all of our people and house them so they don t need the right to vote since we provide all rights but thatquot Social and economic second generation rights are positive because they require gov t to be more proactive and put in place certain policies that guarantee those rights I Some argue these are less important Political and civil first generation rights are negative because gov t have to refrain from doing things but don t have to be proactive I Some argue that these are more important I But you cannot prioritize they are all important and necessary If it is required to live a life of dignity then it is as important as any other August 27 2015 Class Announcements Paper due next Thursday Sept 3 Donnelly Chapter 2 cont Philosophies of Respecting protecting and fulfilling human rights who are the duty bearers 0 Every individual and social actor has a duty to respect the human rights of every individual 0 Protection from Human rights violations deprivations and implementation of Human rights are duties of states I We trust the very people who typically violate human rights the gov t with the responsibility of protecting human rights Gov ts have so much power that they often violate Human rights even though their duty is to protect them 0 In protecting and fulfilling human rights states can create and maintain a system of public and private provision International Human Rights Politics Anarchy is the absence of a central authority in the international system Sovereignty means that there is no higher authority above states and their gov ts and that states have absolute authority over their territory Sovereignty gives rise to the principle of nonintervention a key principle in the international system Despite the fact that we live in a world system characterized by anarchy and sovereignty the world system is still an international society of states states can choose to sign and ratify treaties and voluntarily relinquish some of their sovereignty Over the past 70 years the growing body of international Human rights laws has given individuals international legal standing and created a new standard for political and moral legitimacy Currently there is some tension between sovereignty and international Human rights sovereignty is still one of the key organizing principles of the international system but it is no longer absolute Finding the right balance between sovereignty and Human rights is an ongoing process Three Models of International Human Rights Each model has a different perspective on the place of human rights in world politics 0 Statist Model I They believe that yes Human rights are a bit more important than they used to be but ultimately it s about states and their sovereignty rights not individuals and their Human rights I There have been changes but not fundamental changes 0 Cosmopolitan Model I They think everything has changed National borders are becoming irrelevant therefore sovereignty is not as strong as it used to be I They believe that international intervention in a Human rights issue is necessary to the individual and these individuals Human rights trump states sovereignty o Internationalist Model I Middle ground between two other models I Most accurate description of the place of Human rights in the world politics today I They believe that a lot has changed but there is a lot of continuity as well Sovereignty isn t what it used to be it no longer is a shield to hide behind or an excuse when violating Human rights On the ip side we are not yet living in a world in which Human rights always trump sovereignty concerns Problem Democracy and Human Rights Democracy is not synonymous with Human rights In fact sometimes democracy and Human rights can con ict How should we respond to our own gov t when it plausibly argues that the will of the people not merely justifies but demands infringements of internationally recognized human rightsquot p 32 Donnelly Chapter 3 Universality How can Human Rights be universal in a politically economically historically and culturally diverse world International legal universality Almost all states in the international community have accepted core international Human rights treaties even if international implementation and enforcement are limited Overlapping consensus universality Human rights have many philosophical and religious foundations and many religions philosophies and their cultures have since WWII come to see Human rights as an expression of values Despite all of their differences most philosophies and religions overlap in terms of their acknowledgement of Human rights Functional universality 0 Human rights emerged in early modern Europe as a response to that threats to human dignity that modern states and capitalist markets created for individuals Human rights represent a set of best practices to respond to certain standard threats to human dignity posed by modern markets and modern statesquot p 40 0 Since modern states and markets first emerged in Europe the origins of Human rights are to be found in Europe Modern states and markets have spread to every part of the world and with them Human rights also became universal as Human rights remain the only proven effective mechanism for ensuring human dignity in societies dominated by markets and statequot p 42 o This also means that the West had no cultural proclivity to Human rights the classical and medieval culture of Europe was as inimical as human rights as other cultures in the same time period Anthropological or Historical Relativity The idea of equal and inalienable rights that one has simply because on is a human being was missing in traditional Asian African Islamic Latin American and Western societiesquot p 43 No particular culture or comprehensive doctrine is by nature either compatible or incompatible with HRs It is a matter of what particular people and societies make of and do with their cultural resourcesquot p 44 There is nothing special about the West or Western culture that made the West particularly suited for HRsquot p 44 HRs are historically relative to the modern eraquot most if not all cultures have in their past denied HRs both in theory and in practice But that stops none of the from today not merely endorsing HRs but also finding HRs to be a profound expression of their deepest cultural valuesquot p 44 That means that although HRs are historically relative they are NOT culturally relative


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