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A Discussion of Kathryn Sikkink's Evidence for Hope: Making Human Rights Work in the 21st Century

  • Emilie Hafner-Burton (a1)

Abstract

Since their emergence in the late eighteenth century, doctrines of universal individual rights have been variously criticized as philosophically confused, politically inefficacious, ideologically particular, and Eurocentric. Nevertheless, today the discourse of universal human rights is more internationally widespread and influential than ever. In Evidence for Hope, leading international relations scholar Kathryn Sikkink argues that this is because human rights laws and institutions work. Sikkink rejects the notion that human rights are a Western imposition and points to a wide range of evidence that she claims demonstrates the effectiveness of human rights in bringing about a world that is appreciably improved in many ways from what it was previously. We have invited a broad range of scholars to assess Sikkink’s challenging claims.

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A Discussion of Kathryn Sikkink's Evidence for Hope: Making Human Rights Work in the 21st Century

  • Emilie Hafner-Burton (a1)

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