Monday, December 7, 2009

Quataert: Advocating Dignity: Human Rights Mobilizations in Global Politics

Jean H. Quataert (Binghamton Univ. - History) has published Advocating Dignity: Human Rights Mobilizations in Global Politics (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press 2009). This is another volume in the series Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights. Here's the abstract:

In Advocating Dignity, Jean H. Quataert explores the emergence, development, and impact of the human rights revolution following World War II. Intertwining popular local and national mobilizations for rights with ongoing developments of a formal international system of rights monitoring in the United Nations, Quataert argues that human rights advocacy networks have been a vital dimension of international political developments since 1945. Recalling the popular slogan "Think globally, act locally," Quataert contends that postwar human rights have been significantly shaped by the efforts of people at the grassroots. She shows that human rights politics are constituted by local agencies, actions, and contingencies and reinforced by transnational linkages in international society. The U.N. system is continuously reinvigorated and strengthened by its ties to local individuals, organizations, and groups engaged in day-to-day rights advocacy. This daily work, in turn, is supported by the ongoing activities from above.

Quataert establishes the global contexts for the historical unfolding of human rights advocacy through thorough investigations of graphic case studies such as the Soviet dissident movement, the mothers' demonstrations in Argentina, the transnational antiapartheid campaign, and coalitions for gender and economic justice. Drawing widely from many fields of inquiry, including legal studies, philosophy, international relations theory, political science, and gender history, Advocating Dignity is an innovative study that narrates the hopes and bitter struggles that have altered the course of international and domestic relations over the past sixty years.