The Politics of Human Rights: The Quest for Dignity

Human rights is an important issue in contemporary politics, and the last few decades have also seen a remarkable increase in research and teaching on the subject. This book introduces students to the study of human rights and aims to build on their interest while simultaneously offering an alternative vision of the subject. Many texts focus on the theoretical and legal issues surrounding human rights. This book adopts a substantially different approach which uses empirical data derived from research on human rights by political scientists to illustrate the occurrence of different types of human rights violations across the world. The authors devote attention to rights as well as to responsibilities, neither of which stops at one country’s political borders. They also explore how to deal with repression and the aftermath of human rights violations, making students aware of the prospects for and realities of progress.

  • Focuses on real-word events to demonstrate applicability and encourage students to connect theory with practice
  • Each chapter provides a list of films and novels linked to the topics covered, providing a resource for instructors to engage students with the topic of human rights in a novel way
  • Discusses not just human rights violations, but how repression and its aftermath can be dealt with, making students aware of the ways progress can be made

‘This is the first true human rights textbook. It is comprehensive, has a consistent voice, and introduces students to quantitative approaches to the global, comparative study of human rights. Chapters conclude with suggestions for further reading, relevant websites and films - all with valuable annotations by the authors.’

David Cingranelli, Binghamton University, SUNY

‘Carey, Gibney and Poe explain clearly and accessibly how human rights work, grounding their argument solidly in empirical research. This book provides a valuable resource for readers seeking to deepen their understanding of this crucially important subject.’

Michael Goodhart, University of Pittsburgh

‘The Politics of Human Rights is an innovative, challenging and truly social-scientific treatment of the topic. It is the full tour, from philosophical origins to the post-violation cleanup, replete with examples and, adding to its appeal, complete with an informed guide to relevant films.’

Neil J. Mitchell, University of Aberdeen

The book is available from Cambridge University Press.