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Human Rights: Beyond the Liberal Vision

Human Rights: Beyond the Liberal Vision

by Judith Blau, Alberto Moncada


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There is growing recognition around the globe that people's fundamental human rights are being imperiled in a world economy that is being driven by multinationals, investors, and banks. The "race to the bottom" and insatiable greed has intensified poverty and economic inequalities, fueled migration, and rapidly accelerated environmental degradation. The fates of all nations are interdependent and even though the U.S. is the prime driver of the new economy, Americans have likewise experienced declines over the past decades. Blau and Moncada outline the fundamental human rights that all people are entitled to and the important role that nations have in upholding these rights. Americans find it somewhat difficult to accept the basic premise of human rights because liberalism, as a social, political, and economic ethos powerfully undercuts the premise of human rights. American liberalism highlights the efficacy of individual achievement and individual autonomy, thereby promoting the idea that people have no rights to security.. Human rights, in contrast to the liberal ethos, asserts that all humans have inalienable rights, including rights to a job, housing, social security, education, and a cultural, racial or ethnic identity. Under the conditions of a turbulent global economy, human rights need to be granted the highest standing. The authors consider global capitalism, as well as the role of the global media, and the problematic relationship between the state and society in America. In the final chapter, we review the many currents of transformative movements that are promoting a more equitable, fairer, and more egalitarian world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780742542426
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 03/28/2005
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 6.32(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Judith Blau is professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and president of the U.S. chapter of Sociologists without Borders. She is the author or editor of numerous books, including The Shape of Culture, Race in the Schools, and The Blackwell Companion to Sociology, and is currently the editor of Social Forces. Alberto Moncada is professor of sociology at the University of Madrid and president of Sociologists without Borders. He is founder of the University of Piura, Peru and its first Prorector and has served as consultant to UNESCO and the Council of Europe. Moncada is the author of over 30 books on migration, sociology of education, sociology of religion, and the media.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Liberalism Chapter 3 Human Rights Chapter 4 Bread and Circuses Chapter 5 Inequalities and Global Capitalism Chapter 6 Strong State, Minimalist Society Chapter 7 Rights and Duties Chapter 8 Another World Is Possible

What People are Saying About This

Craig Calhoun

Human Rights is both a welcome contribution in its own right and an intellectually engaging stimulus to further work on its urgent themes. Human rights and global justice are among the fundamental issues of our day and a sociological perspective such as this one is sorely needed.

Michael Burawoy

Drawing on such classics as Adam Smith, Max Weber, Karl Polanyi, and Hannah Arendt, Judith Blau and Alberto Moncada offer a crushing indictment of the U.S. human rights record, made all the more shocking by cover-ups and justifications in the name of individual freedoms. The perfect primer for anyone interested in movements for global justice.

Richard E. Lee

Through a unique world-scale analysis, Blau and Moncada expose the hidden or unquestioned relationships between the global political-economy of neo-liberalism and 'structural reform' and the differential realities of human well being. This is a work of activist sociology in the best sense!

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