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Introduction: contracting human rights

Crisis, Accountability, and Opportunity

Alison Brysk

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Edited by Julian M. Hayter and George R. Goethals

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Julian Maxwell Hayter

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Steven Fein

Chapter 1 opens the volume with a social psychology perspective from Steven Fein, addressing what racism is and its continued impact on American life. The chapter begins by examining the definitions and levels of racism in the United States. Fein then moves to examining manifestations of implicit racism and modern discrimination, as well as their underlying causes. The chapter closes by considering different approaches that have been suggested for combating stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination.

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Introduction: outlining the field of cultural rights and its importance

Issues at Stake, Challenges and Recommendations

Lucky Belder and Helle Porsdam

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Anthony F. Lang, Jr. and Antje Wiener

This chapter provides an introduction and framework to the volume. It provides a historical overview of constitutional thought and highlights the four principles of constitutionalism: rule of law, separation of powers, constituent power, and rights. It demonstrates the ways in which this history and these principles are relevant for global constitutionalism. It argues that a practice-based approach to global constitutionalism provides space for contestation of the traditional liberal history and principles of constitutional thought, highlighting new ways in which this idea can be understood and assessed.

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Edited by Anna Grear

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Kirsten Davies, Sam Adelman, Anna Grear, Catherine Iorns Magallanes, Tom Kerns and S Ravi Rajan


The Declaration on Human Rights and Climate Change responds to the profound crisis of human hierarchies now characterizing the climate crisis. The Declaration, initiated prior to the 2015 COP 21 meeting by scholars from the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment (GNHRE), is one of a convergence of initiatives reflecting the need to understand human rights as intrinsically threatened by climate change. This article introduces the Declaration, the necessity for it, its philosophical and legal background and its support by contemporary cases providing evidence of the escalating legal need for such a tool. A key aim of the Declaration is to trace out a potential normative approach for establishing responsibility towards the planet and redressing unevenly distributed vulnerabilities and climate injustices while recognizing that it is vital that respect for human rights should be understood as an indispensable element of any adequate approach to climate change. The Declaration strives to offer a compelling level of ethical appeal, as well as to be legally literate and philosophically rigorous. The drafting process engaged scholars and communities from across the world, prioritized indigenous involvement, and drew on indigenous ontologies and epistemologies. Newer philosophical approaches such as new materialist understandings of lively materiality also informed the drafting process. Accordingly, the language of the Declaration creates space for non-Western ways of seeing and being as well as responding to insights emerging from new scientific understandings of the world.

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Setting the scene

The Case of Individual Victims of Human Rights Violations

Pierre Schmitt