Today, the idea of human rights enjoys near-universal support; yet, there is deep disagreement about what human rights actually are – their true source of origin, how to study them, and how best to address their deficits. In this sweeping historical exploration, Christopher N. J. Roberts traces these contemporary conflicts back to their moments of inception and shows how more than a half century ago, a series of contradictions worked their way into the International Bill of Human Rights, the foundation of the modern system of human rights. By viewing human rights as representations of human relations that emerge from struggle, this book charts a new path into the subject of human rights and offers a novel theory and methodology for rigorous empirical study.A review:
"This book is simply splendid. The Contentious History of the International Bill of Human Rights tackles an issue of tremendous importance today and powerfully demonstrates how the legacies of past injustice are still with us, still shaping international law. It is deeply researched, beautifully written, surprising, devastating. It deserves to make a substantial impact among human rights scholars across the disciplines and carries important lessons for human rights activists as well." -- Elizabeth S. Anderson, University of MichiganMore information, including an excerpt, is available here.