American Exceptionalism and Human Rights

Author: Michael Ignatieff

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400826889

Category: Political Science

Page: 368

View: 7055

With the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, the most controversial question in world politics fast became whether the United States stands within the order of international law or outside it. Does America still play by the rules it helped create? American Exceptionalism and Human Rights addresses this question as it applies to U.S. behavior in relation to international human rights. With essays by eleven leading experts in such fields as international relations and international law, it seeks to show and explain how America's approach to human rights differs from that of most other Western nations. In his introduction, Michael Ignatieff identifies three main types of exceptionalism: exemptionalism (supporting treaties as long as Americans are exempt from them); double standards (criticizing "others for not heeding the findings of international human rights bodies, but ignoring what these bodies say of the United States); and legal isolationism (the tendency of American judges to ignore other jurisdictions). The contributors use Ignatieff's essay as a jumping-off point to discuss specific types of exceptionalism--America's approach to capital punishment and to free speech, for example--or to explore the social, cultural, and institutional roots of exceptionalism. These essays--most of which appear in print here for the first time, and all of which have been revised or updated since being presented in a year-long lecture series on American exceptionalism at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government--are by Stanley Hoffmann, Paul Kahn, Harold Koh, Frank Michelman, Andrew Moravcsik, John Ruggie, Frederick Schauer, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Carol Steiker, and Cass Sunstein.
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American Exceptionalism Reconsidered

U.S. Foreign Policy, Human Rights, and World Order

Author: David P. Forsythe,Patrice C. McMahon

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 131735236X

Category: Political Science

Page: 172

View: 6492

Is the US really exceptional in terms of its willingness to take universal human rights seriously? According to the rhetoric of American political leaders, the United States has a unique and lasting commitment to human rights principles and to a liberal world order centered on rule of law and human dignity. But when push comes to shove—most recently in Libya and Syria--the United States failed to stop atrocities and dithered as disorder spread in both places. This book takes on the myths surrounding US foreign policy and the future of world order. Weighing impulses toward parochial nationalism against the ideal of cosmopolitan internationalism, the authors posit that what may be emerging is a new brand of American globalism, or a foreign policy that gives primacy to national self-interest but does so with considerable interest in and genuine attention to universal human rights and a willingness to suffer and pay for those outside its borders—at least on occasion. The occasions of exception—such as Libya and Syria—provide case studies for critical analysis and allow the authors to look to emerging dominant powers, especially China, for indicators of new challenges to the commitment to universal human rights and humanitarian affairs in the context of the ongoing clash between liberalism and realism. The book is guided by four central questions: 1) What is the relationship between cosmopolitan international standards and narrow national self-interest in US policy on human rights and humanitarian affairs? 2) What is the role of American public opinion and does it play any significant role in shaping US policy in this dialectical clash? 3) Beyond public opinion, what other factors account for the shifting interplay of liberal and realist inclinations in Washington policy making? 4) In the 21st century and as global power shifts, what are the current views and policies of other countries when it comes to the application of human rights and humanitarian affairs?
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Meeting the Enemy

American Exceptionalism and International Law

Author: Natsu Taylor Saito

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 9780814741252

Category: Law

Page: 384

View: 4311

Since its founding, the United States has defined itself as the supreme protector of freedom throughout the world, pointing to its Constitution as the model of law to ensure democracy at home and to protect human rights internationally. Although the United States has consistently emphasized the importance of the international legal system, it has simultaneously distanced itself from many established principles of international law and the institutions that implement them. In fact, the American government has attempted to unilaterally reshape certain doctrines of international law while disregarding others, such as provisions of the Geneva Conventions and the prohibition on torture. America’s selective self-exemption, Natsu Taylor Saito argues, undermines not only specific legal institutions and norms, but leads to a decreased effectiveness of the global rule of law. Meeting the Enemy is a pointed look at why the United States’ frequent—if selective—disregard of international law and institutions is met with such high levels of approval, or at least complacency, by the American public.
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Human Rights in the United States

Beyond Exceptionalism

Author: Shareen Hertel,Kathryn Libal

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139499521

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 4391

This book brings to light emerging evidence of a shift toward a fuller engagement with international human rights norms and their application to domestic policy dilemmas in the United States. The volume offers a rich history, spanning close to three centuries, of the marginalization of human rights discourse in the United States. Contributors analyze cases of US human rights advocacy aimed at addressing persistent inequalities within the United States itself, including advocacy on the rights of persons with disabilities; indigenous peoples; lone mother-headed families; incarcerated persons; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people; and those displaced by natural disasters. It also explores key arenas in which legal scholars, policy practitioners and grassroots activists are challenging multiple divides between 'public' and 'private' spheres (for example, in connection with children's rights and domestic violence) and between 'public' and 'private' sectors (specifically, in relation to healthcare and business and human rights).
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The Promise of Human Rights

Constitutional Government, Democratic Legitimacy, and International Law

Author: Jamie Mayerfeld

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 0812248163

Category: Law

Page: 336

View: 408

Jamie Mayerfeld defends international human rights law as a necessary extension of domestic checks and balances and therefore essential to constitutional government. The book combines theoretical reflections on democracy and constitutionalism with a case study of the contrasting human rights policies of Europe and the United States.
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Human Rights and the Negotiation of American Power

Author: Glenn Mitoma

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 0812245067

Category: History

Page: 226

View: 8114

The American attitude toward human rights is deemed inconsistent, even hypocritical: while the United States is characterized (or self-characterized) as a global leader in promoting human rights, the nation has consistently restrained broader interpretations of human rights and held international enforcement mechanisms at arm's length. Human Rights and the Negotiation of American Power examines the causes, consequences, and tensions of America's growth as the leading world power after World War II alongside the flowering of the human rights movement. Through careful archival research, Glenn Mitoma reveals how the U.S. government, key civil society groups, Cold War politics, and specific individuals contributed to America's emergence as an ambivalent yet central player in establishing an international rights ethic. Mitoma focuses on the work of three American civil society organizations: the Commission to Study the Organization of Peace, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the American Bar Association—and their influence on U.S. human rights policy from the late 1930s through the 1950s. He demonstrates that the burgeoning transnational language of human rights provided two prominent United Nations diplomats and charter members of the Commission on Human Rights—Charles Malik and Carlos Romulo—with fresh and essential opportunities for influencing the position of the United States, most particularly with respect to developing nations. Looking at the critical contributions made by these two men, Mitoma uncovers the unique causes, tensions, and consequences of American exceptionalism.
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Exceptional America

What Divides Americans from the World and from Each Other

Author: Mugambi Jouet

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520293290

Category: Political Science

Page: 376

View: 4286

Why does a country built on the concept of liberty have the highest incarceration rate in the world? How could the first Western nation to elect a person of color as its leader suffer from institutional racism? How does Christian fundamentalism coexist with gay marriage in the American imagination? In essence, what makes the United States exceptional? In this provocative exploration of American exceptionalism, Mugambi Jouet examines why Americans are far more divided than other Westerners over basic issues—including wealth inequality, health care, climate change, evolution, the literal truth of the Bible, abortion, gay rights, gun control, mass incarceration, and war. Drawing inspiration from Alexis de Tocqueville, Jouet, raised in Paris by a French mother and a Kenyan father, wields his multicultural sensibility to parse the ways in which the intense polarization of U.S. conservatives and liberals has become a key dimension of American exceptionalism—an idea widely misunderstood to mean American superiority. Instead, Jouet contends that exceptionalism, once a source of strength, may now spell decline, as unique features of U.S. history, politics, law, culture, religion, and race relations foster grave conflicts and injustices. This book offers a brilliant dissection of the American soul, in all of its outsize, clashing, and striking manifestations.
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American Exceptionalism, the French Exception, and Digital Media Law

Author: Lyombe S. Eko

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN: 0739181130

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 330

View: 4230

This volume explores and explains sameness and difference between the United States and France in the matters of freedom of expression on the Internet, the management of the tensions that arise between freedom of expression and the right of privacy of public figures, the comparative role of interest groups in the regulation of Internet content in both countries, the intellectual property implications of the digitization and transfer of journalistic works from print to searchable electronic databases, how courts in the United States and France managed the copyright issues that were triggered by the Google Book Search project, as well as the clash between intellectual property rights and freedom of expression in the area of parody or “gripe” web sites on the Internet. The volume presents American exceptionalism and the French exception as functionally equivalent logics that lead to different freedom of expression outcomes. This book makes a significant contribution to comparative communication law studies, an area that has not received serious academic interest.
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Human Rights in Our Own Backyard

Injustice and Resistance in the United States

Author: William T. Armaline,Davita Silfen Glasberg,Bandana Purkayastha

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 9780812205145

Category: Political Science

Page: 344

View: 5444

Most Americans assume that the United States provides a gold standard for human rights—a 2007 survey found that 80 percent of U.S. adults believed that "the U.S. does a better job than most countries when it comes to protecting human rights." As well, discussions among scholars and public officials in the United States frame human rights issues as concerning people, policies, or practices "over there." By contrast, the contributors to this volume argue that many of the greatest immediate and structural threats to human rights, and some of the most significant efforts to realize human rights in practice, can be found in our own backyard. Human Rights in Our Own Backyard examines the state of human rights and responses to human rights issues, drawing on sociological literature and perspectives to interrogate assumptions of American exceptionalism. How do people in the U.S. address human rights issues? What strategies have they adopted, and how successful have these strategies been? Essays are organized around key conventions of human rights, focusing on the relationships between human rights and justice, the state and the individual, civil rights and human rights, and group rights versus individual rights. The contributors are united by a common conception of the human rights enterprise as a process involving not only state-defined and implemented rights but also human rights from below as promoted by activists.
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American Exceptionalism and Civil Religion

Reassessing the History of an Idea

Author: John D. Wilsey

Publisher: InterVarsity Press

ISBN: 0830899294

Category: Religion

Page: 262

View: 1121

Ever since John Winthrop told his fellow colonists in 1630 that they were about to establish a City upon a Hill, the idea of having a special place in history has captured the American imagination. Through centuries of crises and opportunities, many have taken up this theme to inspire the nation. But others have criticized the notion because it implies a sense of superiority which can fuel racism, warmongering and even idolatry. In this remarkable book, John Wilsey traces the historical development of exceptionalism, including its theological meaning and implications for civil religion. From seventeenth-century Puritans to twentieth-century industrialists, from politicians to educators, exceptionalism does not appear as a monolithic concept to be either totally rejected or devotedly embraced. While it can lead to abuses, it can also point to constructive civil engagement and human flourishing. This book considers historically and theologically what makes the difference. Neither the term nor the idea of American exceptionalism is going away. John Wilsey s careful history and analysis will therefore prove an important touchstone for discussions of American identity in the decades to come.
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American Exceptionalism

An Experiment in History

Author: Charles A. Murray

Publisher: Aei Press

ISBN: 9780844772646

Category: Political Science

Page: 59

View: 5756

The phrase American exceptionalism is used in many ways and for many purposes, but its original meaning involved a statement of fact: for the first century after the Constitution went into effect, European observers and Americans alike saw the United States as exceptional, with political and civic cultures that had no counterparts anywhere else. In American Exceptionalism: An Experiment in History, Charles Murray describes how America s geography, ideology, politics, and daily life set the new nation apart from Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. He then discusses the ways that exceptionalism changed during America s evolution over the course of the 20th century. Which changes are gains to be applauded? Which are losses to be mourned? Answering these questions is the essential first step in discovering what you want for America s future.
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Human Rights in the 21st Century

Continuity and Change since 9/11

Author: M. Goodhart,A. Mihr

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 023030740X

Category: Political Science

Page: 308

View: 5276

This is the first book to offer a systematic analysis of human rights in the 21st century. The chapters, written from diverse methodological perspectives, provide rich and varied insights on vital questions concerning the resiliency, weaknesses, and prospects of human rights today.
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The Paris Agreement

Climate Change, Solidarity, and Human Rights

Author: Judith Blau

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319535412

Category: Political Science

Page: 119

View: 8955

This book discusses the immediate and severe threat posed by global climate change and the various obstacles that stand in the way of action. Judith Blau presents scientific evidence relevant to The Paris Agreement (COP-21): an international treaty that promises to strengthen the global response to climate change. As she reckons with the dangers of catastrophic planetary heating, Blau discusses the clash between the deeply ingrained American tradition of individualism and the collective action and acknowledgement of intertwined fate needed to address climate change. She acknowledges that America’s capitalist bent stands in contrast to the idea of the “commons”—a concept that we need to embrace if climate change is to be mitigated. The volume also explains the foundations of international human rights standards as they relate to climate change. Drawing from guiding principles of human rights and equality, the book concludes hopefully—suggesting that the people of the world can meet the challenge posed by climate change by at once acknowledging shared humanity and celebrating difference.
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Sound the Trumpet

The United States and Human Rights Promotion

Author: Lawrence J. Haas

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 1442216581

Category: History

Page: 183

View: 9917

In Sound the Trumpet, Lawrence J. Haas examines the effort by advance freedom and democracy around the world. Haas argues forcefully that, for all of our missed opportunities and tragic errors, the world is a better place because of our efforts.
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American Exceptionalism in Crime and Punishment

Author: Kevin R. Reitz

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190203544

Category: Law

Page: 560

View: 9688

The idea of American exceptionalism has made frequent appearances in discussions of criminal justice policies--as it has in many other areas--to help portray or explain problems that are especially acute in the U.S., including mass incarceration, retention of the death penalty, racial and ethnic disparities, and the War on Drugs. While scholars do not universally agree that it is an apt or useful framework, there is no question that the U.S. is an outlier, when compared with other industrialized democracies, in its punitive and exclusionary criminal justice policies. This volume of essays deepens the debate of American exceptionalism in crime and punishment through comparative political, economic, and historical analyses, with an orientation toward forward-looking prescriptions for American law, policy, and institutions of government. The chapters expand the literature to neglected areas such as community supervision, parole release, and collateral consequences of conviction; explore claims of causation, in particular the view that the U.S. history of slavery and racial inequality has been a primary driver of crime policy; examine arguments that the framework of multiple governments and localized crime control, populist style of democracy, and laissez-faire economy are implicated in problems of both crime and punishment; and assess theories that cultural values are the most salient predictors of penal severity and violent crime. With an outstanding list of contributors edited by a leading authority on punishment, this volume demonstrates that the largest problems of crime and justice cannot be brought into focus from the perspective of single jurisdiction, and that comparative inquiries are necessary for an understanding of the current predicament in the US.
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Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places

Why State Constitutions Contain America's Positive Rights

Author: Emily Zackin

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400846277

Category: Political Science

Page: 248

View: 1085

Unlike many national constitutions, which contain explicit positive rights to such things as education, a living wage, and a healthful environment, the U.S. Bill of Rights appears to contain only a long list of prohibitions on government. American constitutional rights, we are often told, protect people only from an overbearing government, but give no explicit guarantees of governmental help. Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places argues that we have fundamentally misunderstood the American rights tradition. The United States actually has a long history of enshrining positive rights in its constitutional law, but these rights have been overlooked simply because they are not in the federal Constitution. Emily Zackin shows how they instead have been included in America's state constitutions, in large part because state governments, not the federal government, have long been primarily responsible for crafting American social policy. Although state constitutions, seemingly mired in trivial detail, can look like pale imitations of their federal counterpart, they have been sites of serious debate, reflect national concerns, and enshrine choices about fundamental values. Zackin looks in depth at the history of education, labor, and environmental reform, explaining why America's activists targeted state constitutions in their struggles for government protection from the hazards of life under capitalism. Shedding much-needed light on the variety of reasons that activists pursued the creation of new state-level rights, Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places challenges us to rethink our most basic assumptions about the American constitutional tradition.
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The Myth of American Exceptionalism

Author: Godfrey Hodgson

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780300125702

Category: History

Page: 221

View: 4723

The idea that the United States is destined to spread its unique gifts of democracy and capitalism to other countries is dangerous for Americans and for the rest of the world, warns Godfrey Hodgson in this provocative book. Hodgson, a shrewd and highly respected British commentator, argues that America is not as exceptional as it would like to think; its blindness to its own history has bred a complacent nationalism and a disastrous foreign policy that has isolated and alienated it from the global community. Tracing the development of America’s high self regard from the early days of the republic to the present era, Hodgson demonstrates how its exceptionalism has been systematically exaggerated and—in recent decades—corrupted. While there have been distinct and original elements in America’s history and political philosophy, notes Hodgson, these have always been more heavily influenced by European thought and experience than Americans have been willing to acknowledge. A stimulating and timely assessment of how America’s belief in its exceptionalism has led it astray, this book is mandatory reading for its citizens, admirers, and detractors.
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All the Missing Souls

A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals

Author: David Scheffer

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691140154

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 533

View: 6789

Recounts the author's experiences of setting up the International Criminal Court, including problems with achieving international cooperation for tribunals, war crimes victims, and challenges from the U.S. due to fears of soldiers facing prosecution.
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The Jungle Grows Back

The Case for American Power

Author: Robert Kagan

Publisher: Knopf

ISBN: 0525521658

Category: History

Page: 192

View: 6469

A brilliant and visionary argument for America's role as an enforcer of peace and order throughout the world--and what is likely to happen if we withdraw and focus our attention inward. Recent years have brought deeply disturbing developments around the globe. American sentiment seems to be leaning increasingly toward withdrawal in the face of such disarray. In this powerful, urgent essay, Robert Kagan elucidates the reasons why American withdrawal would be the worst possible response, based as it is on a fundamental and dangerous misreading of the world. Like a jungle that keeps growing back after being cut down, the world has always been full of dangerous actors who, left unchecked, possess the desire and ability to make things worse. Kagan makes clear how the "realist" impulse to recognize our limitations and focus on our failures misunderstands the essential role America has played for decades in keeping the world's worst instability in check. A true realism, he argues, is based on the understanding that the historical norm has always been toward chaos--that the jungle will grow back, if we let it.
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