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The Evolution of International Human Rights
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The Evolution of International Human Rights
Visions Seen

Paul Gordon Lauren

Third Edition
432 pages | 7 x 10 | 16 illus.
Paper 2011 | ISBN 9780812221381 | $37.50s | Outside the Americas £28.99
Ebook editions are available from selected online vendors
A volume in the series Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights
View table of contents

Praise for earlier editions:

"Perhaps the most significant contribution to the historiography of human rights. . . . [A] beautiful historical tapestry . . . [in which] colorful threads converge to create complications that only an astute scholar-author could sift through without being lost in analytical mazes or leaving behind bewildered readers."—Human Rights Quarterly

"Beautifully written and meticulously researched history of the idea of human rights. . . . To read in this book how far we have come and how far we still have to go is an inspiration to the activist and a challenge to the idle."—American Journal of International Law

"An indispensable reference source for scholars and students of human rights."—Political Science Quarterly

"Paul Gordon Lauren has skillfully combined a detailed history of the legal documents with the political, philosophical, and social context in which they developed."—American Historical Review

This widely acclaimed and highly regarded book, used extensively by students, scholars, policymakers, and activists, now appears in a new third edition. Focusing on the theme of visions seen by those who dreamed of what might be, Lauren explores the dramatic transformation of a world patterned by centuries of human rights abuses into a global community that now boldly proclaims that the way governments treat their own people is a matter of international concern—and sets the goal of human rights "for all peoples and all nations." He reveals the truly universal nature of this movement, places contemporary events within their broader historical contexts, and explains the relationship between individual cases and larger issues of human rights with insight.

This new edition incorporates material from recently declassified documents and the most recent scholarship relating to the creation of the new Human Rights Council and its Universal Periodic Review, the International Criminal Court, the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), terrorism and torture, the impact of globalization and modern technology, and activists in NGOs devoted to human rights. It provides perceptive assessments of the process of change, the power of visions and visionaries, politics and political will, and the evolving meanings of sovereignty, security, and human rights themselves.

Paul Gordon Lauren is Regents Professor at the University of Montana. He is the author of a number of books, including the award-winning Power and Prejudice: The Politics and Diplomacy of Racial Discrimination.

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