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25. Nigeria  

Consolidating Democracy and Human Rights

Stephen Wright

This chapter examines the consolidation of democracy and human rights in Nigeria. With regard to the relationship between development and human rights, Nigeria presents an interesting puzzle. It is rich in oil, but has not been able to translate its immense natural resources into sustainable economic development and respect for human rights. Ethnic and religious tensions, a result of colonialism, have been exacerbated by disastrous economic development, which has in turn led to a deteriorating human rights situation and intense violence. The chapter first considers the political economy of Nigerian oil before discussing the country’s political and economic development, with particular emphasis on critical aspects of human security and civil society. It concludes with an assessment of the progress that has been made as well as ongoing development challenges Nigeria faces.

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27. Sudan  

Human Rights, Development, and Democracy

Liv Tønnessen

This chapter examines human rights, development, and democracy in Sudan. Since gaining independence in 1956, Sudan has been dominated by a northern Muslim ‘ethnocracy’ — a factor that helped precipitate secession of the Christian south in 2011. Long periods of military rule and civil war have spawned a culture of authoritarianism and violence. The chapter first provides an overview of political instability in Sudan before discussing the two civil wars and perpetual conflicts endured by the country throughout its history. It then considers the political economy of human development in Sudan, focusing on the link between underdevelopment and the politics of oil, as well as the failure of democracy to consolidate and the role of civil society in popular uprisings. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the connection between development in the Sudanese context and the need for improving human rights.

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Cover Human Rights

Human Rights and the UN Sustainable Development Goals  

Inga T. Winkler and Matheus de Carvalho Hernandez

This chapter covers the relationship between human rights and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It starts with the history and development of the SDGs, which included the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The concept of sustainable development is based on the pillars of economic, environmental, and social development, which allowed the integration of human rights, climate change, and many other issues. The key challenges of SGDs revolve around the lack of ensuring accountability and addressing inequality, which made its significant potential to contribute to the realization of human rights. Finally, the chapter provides a case study of SDG's commitment to reducing inequalities.

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Cover Human Rights: Politics and Practice

12. Human Rights and Politics in Development  

Sakiko Fukuda-Parr

This chapter discusses the importance of politics to the relationship between human rights and development. It describes the two major ways in which human rights struggles have focused on development processes in the last two decades: the right to development, the struggles of poor countries for a better deal in the global economic system; and the human rights-based approach to development, the struggles of poor people for development to realize their rights. The chapter first considers the links between human rights, politics, and development before analysing the concepts and debates surrounding the right to development and the human rights-based approach to development. It then presents a case study on the Millennium Development Goals and the successor, Sustainable Development Goals, to illustrate how human rights principles are raised in contemporary debates on development priorities.

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26. Guatemala  

Enduring Underdevelopment and Insecurity

Rachel Sieder

This chapter examines Guatemala’s underdevelopment in the context of social, economic, cultural, and political rights. It first provides an introduction to poverty and multiple inequalities in Guatemala before discussing patterns of state formation in the country. It then considers the 1996 peace accords, which represented an attempt to reverse historical trends, to ‘engineer development’, and to secure the human rights of all Guatemalans. It also explores human security and development in Guatemala and identifies the main contemporary causes of the country’s persistent underdevelopment: a patrimonialist and predatory state underpinned by a strong, conservative private sector, an extremely weak party system, the continued influence of active and retired members of the armed forces in politics, entrenched counterinsurgency logics, and the increasing presence of transnational organized crime.

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Cover Contemporary Security Studies

10. Human Security  

Randolph B. Persaud

This chapter examines the concept of human security. It does so in descriptive, analytical, and empirical terms, drawing on both the scholarly and policy-relevant literatures. The chapter describes the development of human security, with references to the academic literature where necessary. Accordingly, the emergence, contribution, and impact of the most important drivers of human security, especially in institutional terms, are examined. These include the 1994 UNDP Human Development Report (HDR), the Commission for Human Security, the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, the Millennium Development Goals, and the International Criminal Court. The chapter takes up a recurring question about the newness of human security by looking at its intellectual and institutional genealogy. The chapter provides a detailed overview of the most trenchant critiques of human security. These critiques are placed into the following categories—too broad to be useful; national interest and co-optation; reformist tool of global capitalism; and neo-colonialism.

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Cover Human Rights: Politics and Practice

23. The Environment  

John Barry and Kerri Woods

This chapter examines the ways that environmental issues affect human rights and the relevance of human rights to environmental campaigns. It also evaluates proposals for extending human rights to cover environmental rights, rights for future generations, and rights for some non-human animals. The chapter begins with a discussion of the relationship between human rights and the environment, along with the notion that all persons have ‘environmental human rights’. It then analyses the impact of the environment on human security and its implications for human rights issues before considering case studies that illustrate how environmental issues directly impact on the human rights of the so-called environmental refugees, who are displaced from lands by the threat of climate change and also by development projects. Finally, the chapter describes the link between human rights and environmental sustainability.

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22. Iraq  

A Failing State?

Nadje Al-Ali and Nicola Pratt

This chapter examines whether Iraq is a failed state and how it drew such characterization. It focuses on the period since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein. The chapter considers three areas: the reconstruction of Iraq’s political institutions; post-invasion violence and security; and human and economic development. It shows how the failure to reconstruct political institutions capable of reconciling Iraq’s different political groupings has weakened central government, exacerbated corruption within state institutions, and contributed to ethnic/sectarian violence, thereby creating a favourable environment for the emergence of the Islamic State. The chapter argues that the Iraqi state is failing to provide necessary services and infrastructure for economic and human development and even basic security for much of the population.

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Cover Human Rights: Politics and Practice

17. Children’s Human Rights Advocacy  

Vanessa Pupavac

This chapter examines some theoretical and practical problems in global children's rights advocacy. It begins with a discussion of the novelty of children's rights and the problem of identifying the moral agent of children's rights. It then considers the tensions between the universalism of human rights advocacy and the relativism of development advocacy. It shows that children's rights research is influenced by social constructivism, which highlights the history of childhood and childhood norms. Early social constructivist approaches identified the concept of childhood underpinning the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a Western construction based on Western experiences and its exclusion of the experience of childhood in developing countries. The chapter proceeds by looking at a case study involving attempts to eradicate corporal punishment of children globally. It suggests that there are social and political problems with attempting to globalize childhood norms without globalizing material development.

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Cover Democracies and Authoritarian Regimes

5. The Consequences of Democracy and Authoritarian Regimes  

This chapter reviews the latest research showing how regime type affects a host of outcomes of interest. It explains why democratic decline matters, examining the effects of democracy on a state's conflict propensity, levels of terrorism, economic growth, human development, corruption, and human rights. The chapter then highlights two key takeaways from the research on the consequences of regime type. First, hybrid regimes, or those countries that sit in the middle of the autocracy–democracy spectrum, perform less well than either their fully democratic or fully authoritarian counterparts in a number of areas. Second, research suggests that democracies outperform dictatorship on almost every indicator examined. Ultimately, the academic record demonstrates that even after one sets democracy's intrinsic value aside, government is better when it is more democratic. Although democratic decision-making can be slower, this process is more likely to weigh risks, thereby avoiding volatile and ruinous policies.

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Cover Human Rights

Political Democracy and State Repression  

Christian Davenport

This chapter looks at the correlation between political democracy and state repression. It notes how political democracy and economic development diminish human rights violations. Democracy mitigates repressions due to policymakers being aware of the repercussions of hurting citizens. Moreover, different aspects of democracy matter with regard to the influence on levels of repressions. The chapter then discusses the case studies on democracy and repression amidst the history of the Jim Crow laws and the Trump administration in the United States. It also considers possible future research into the democracy-repression nexus, which highlights the importance to look beyond state authorities when studying repression.

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18. Human Rights  

Michael Freeman

This chapter examines the concept of human rights, which derives primarily from the Charter of the United Nations adopted in 1945 immediately after World War II. It first provides a brief account of the history of the concept of human rights before describing the international human rights regime. It then considers two persistent problems that arise in applying the concept of human rights to the developing world: the relations between the claim that the concept is universally valid and the realities of cultural diversity around the world; and the relations between human rights and development. In particular, it explores cultural imperialism and cultural relativism, the human rights implications of the rise of political Islam and the so-called war on terror(ism), and globalization. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the new political economy of human rights.

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Cover Rethinking Political Thinkers

29. Immanuel Kant  

Stella Sandford

This chapter focuses on Immanuel Kant’s political writings and their influence on the history of Western philosophy. It critically examines the major problems in Kant’s political thought, such as its relation to Eurocentrism and the racial theory of development. But also, this chapter explains the main tenets of Kant’s philosophy including the practical and theoretical parts, transcendental idealism, and the categorical imperative. The theoretical part of Kant’s philosophy explains the metaphysical and deals with the natural world, while the practical part addresses human action. It further examines, his political philosophy, including universal history and the metaphysical foundations of political theory. The chapter then turns considers the impact of Kant’s philosophy as well as its problems, notably in relation to ideal and non-ideal theory.