This chapter addresses how the doctrine of ‘structural violence’ refers to violence where social structures, relations, and institutions threaten peoples’ basic interests and needs. It is inherently related to social injustices and the failure to fulfil basic human rights. The right to development discourse, as it developed in the late 1990s with reference to the UN Declaration on the Right to Development, provides a framework for analysing such structural violence from new perspectives that combine various types of rights in analysing social injustices, poverty, and ‘failed development’. The chapter explores the argument that the main constraint on development may not be a poverty trap (i.e., that people living in poverty lack capacities and access to productive resources that can enable them to move out of poverty), but rather traps of violence that constrain development at both macro and micro levels. Lack of functioning legal structures and institutions for rights protection and public policies addressing poverty are important factors explaining the difficulties of escaping poverty.
Bård A. Andreassen
Comparison is often used in human rights analysis, monitoring and advocacy. This chapter discusses purposes and key features of comparative human rights analysis based on recent research. It argues that comparison is important for exploring contextual and underlying conditions for human rights violations or protection. The chapter discusses what comparison in human rights is, why it is a fruitful research strategy and how it may conducted by comparing few or many cases. The chapter also addresses one-case studies as a form of comparative approach, often applied in human rights studies. One-case studies offer important opportunities for testing hypothesizes and enable conceptual and theoretical development.