SCHEDULED FOR PUBLICATION IN SEPTEMBER 2013! CLICK HERE FOR UPDATES!
The 20th Century has been described as the bloodiest century in the history of humankind, where state and non state actors have killed more people than in any other time in world history. But from the middle of this bloody century, people around the world embraced the ideas of democracy and human rights in ways that they had not done so before.
They created social, political, and legal institutions that seek to constrain the worst forms of human behaviour. This project is far from over, but by the turn of the new century more countries were democratic than non-democratic, inter-state and intrastate conflict saw a dramatic decline, and the promotion and protection of human rights have advanced far beyond the expectations of the original drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This book is an optimistic but cautionary tale of these developments in democracy and human rights around the world. It is founded on a Hobessian assumption about human nature but seeks to show that the world has sought to construct a Lockean and Rawlsian solution ‘for our own sake’.
The optimism celebrates the global turn from tyranny towards democracy and rights, while the caution examines the precariousness of our achievements, particularly in the face of democratic setbacks in some countries and undermining of rights commitments in many states during the so-called ‘war on terror’.
Illustrated throughout with tables, charts, and graphs, as well as briefing boxes of success and setbacks, the book draws on the extant political science, international law, and international relations literature to provide an easily accessible and user-friendly overview of democracy and human rights in the world that will be of interest to scholars, policymakers, practitioners, business leaders, and the general public.
It is structured through a series of ‘conceptual couplets’ (Chapter 1-10) that have inherent tensions, while the tone is upbeat, cogent, and coherent.
- Abundance and Freedom
- Democracy and Human Rights
- Waves and Setbacks
- Evidence and Explanations
- Agents and Advocates
- Truth and Justice
- Threats and Pitfalls
- Benefits and Outcomes
- Hopes and Challenges