From the fight against segregation to the pursuit for equal LGBT marriage rights, human rights has come a long way over the years not just in the United States, but throughout the world. In honor of Universal Human Rights Month, we at Questia, the premier online research and paper-writing tool for students, are making the below books on human rights topics free through the month of December.
Historically, the topic of human rights has been a global issue within various societies, but as time has passed, the morality of the issue has been brought to the forefront. In the 21st century, particularly since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the international debate has intensified with a global spotlight focusing on issues such as oppressive governments and civil wars. With the international system increasingly considering intervention in countries where humanitarian concerns have been raised, it is important for countries such as the United States to keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to improve human rights. [Stacy, Helen M. Human Rights for the 21st Century: Sovereignty, Civil Society, Culture.StanfordUniversity Press: 2009]
There have been many groups throughout history that have revolted against civil society as a result of oppressed human rights, ultimately acting as the catalyst central to the campaign for social change. From overthrowing communist regimes in Eastern Europe to the current political arena with debates surrounding the future of globalization and global politics, the ever-changing definitions and ambiguity regarding human rights will forever keep it a hot-button issue. [Gready, Paul. Fighting for Human Rights. Routledge: 2004]
Throughout history, global human rights have evolved, with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) serving as the modern-day cornerstone for future standards of achievement. However since it is an all-encompassing topic with varying levels of civil, political, social and economic rights, standards will vary from country to country. Despite the progress human rights has made as a whole, especially over the past 50 years, social order is still the prime factor that affects how rights transcend within the human race. [Coicaud, Jean-Marc, et al. The Globalization of Human Rights. UnitedNationsUniversity Press: 2003]
The European Court of Human rights which has adopted an American-style body of constitutional law, serves as a regulator that routinely confronts nations over their most culturally sensitive hot-button issues. From France’s Muslim immigration issues to Turkey’s Kurdish separatism, the court has boasted an impressive record of political courage and achievement. [Goldhaber, Michael D. A People’s History of the European Court of Human Rights. RutgersUniversity Press: 2007]
A recent development in human rights history is the age of interventionism, or the willingness to use force in the name of humanitarian values. As a result of actions such as NATO’s response to the Kosovo crisis to the Security Council’s authorized use of force in East Timor, issues about the legality and morality of human intervention has dominated the international legal and political agenda. Especially within mainstream international law and international relations circles, the notion that force can be legitimately be used as a response to humanitarian challenges has received increased support. [Orford, Anne. Reading Humanitarian Intervention: Human Rights and the Use of Force in International Law. CambridgeUniversity Press: 2003]