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Human Rights: Politics and Practice provides an introduction to human rights. Combining political science, philosophy, law, and policy-making, the text provides a broad range of perspectives on the theoretical and practical issues in this constantly evolving field. In addition to in-depth theoretical content, the text also features coverage of human rights issues in practice, with a wide range of case studies to explore concrete examples from around the world. The third edition has been brought fully up-to-date with the most recent events and latest research developments in the area. Two new chapters have been added: one on religion and human rights, and one on sexual orientation and gender issues and human rights, introducing students to these important topics and expanding the theoretical and practical discussion of issues of universalism and relativism. The new edition also features a range of carefully developed pedagogical features to aid learning, encourage critical analysis, and challenge students to question their own assumptions.


Christine (Cricket) Keating and Cynthia Burack

This chapter examines the issue of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer people (LGBTI). In recent years, LGBTI groups have used the language and frameworks of human rights to organize against state, civil society, religious, and interpersonal violence and discrimination. The broadening of the human rights framework to address issues of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) has been an important development in both the human rights and the LGBTI movements. The chapter begins with a discussion of SOGI rights as human rights, focusing on questions such as the central human rights issues for LGBTI people; how these groups have organized to address these challenges through a human rights framework; and the challenges faced by LGBTI human rights advocates and what successes they have had. It also considers critiques of SOGI human rights activism and concludes with a case study of Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill.


This chapter examines some issues that have come to greater attention in more recent decades, with particular emphasis on what it calls ‘oversights’ of justice. It begins by arguing that some of the greatest political philosophers had suffered from ‘oversights’, notably Karl Marx, Mary Wollstonecraft, and John Stuart Mill. It then considers some of these oversights of justice, first by looking at issues of gender equality, then at racial justice, followed by issues of disability and sexual orientation, each from the standpoint of what is known as ‘domestic justice’: justice as it operates within a single state. It also explores questions of global justice, including immigration, and global inequalities of wealth, along with justice to future generations, especially in relation to climate change. These discussions reflect areas of great contemporary concern, both in political philosophy and in real life.


Sylvia Bashevkin

This chapter examines how gender shapes US foreign policy. It first considers key perspectives that can be drawn from the work of Cynthia Enloe and other feminist writers before discussing a series of empirical questions that follow from this background; for example, when and how women entered the main institutions of American foreign policy; how female diplomats responded to discriminatory attitudes and practices; in what ways women leaders have influenced the directions of US foreign policy; and how sexual orientation politics figure in State Department actions. The chapter goes on to highlight strong resistance to efforts to integrate women’s rights and gay rights claims in the content of US foreign policy.