- Subject index
The SAGE Handbook of Human Rights will comprise a two volume set consisting of more than 50 original chapters that clarify and analyze human rights issues of both contemporary and future importance. The Handbook will take an inter-disciplinary approach, combining work in such traditional fields as law, political science and philosophy with such non-traditional subjects as climate change, demography, economics, geography, urban studies, mass communication, and business and marketing. In addition, one of the aspects of mainstreaming is the manner in which human rights has come to play a prominent role in popular culture, and there will be a section on human rights in art, film, music and literature.
Not only will the Handbook provide a state of the art analysis of the discipline that addresses ...
Chapter 1: Human Rights Research and Theory
Human Rights Research and Theory
David Hume described government as ‘instituted in order to restrain the fury and injustice of the people’. We can describe human rights and humanitarian law as instituted to restrain the fury and injustice of governments. These self-imposed restraints are a surprising achievement. Why do governments limit their use of violence? What explains the shift in values from a system that prioritized nation-state sovereignty to one that recognized individual rights, and what explains continued resort to violence and repression? (Clark, 2007; Dunne, 2007). We want theory to elucidate these issues. As North et al. tell us, understanding ‘violence must be near the heart of any explanation of how societies behave’ (North et al., ...