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(p. 497) 31. Human rights 

(p. 497) 31. Human rights
(p. 497) 31. Human rights

Jack Donnelly

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date: 06 May 2021

This chapter examines the multilateral, bilateral, and transnational politics of human rights in contemporary international society. It considers why internationally-recognized human rights are implemented largely through national action. It also explores whether human rights should be enforced through greater regional and international judicial action, or whether international armed force should be used; what the global human rights regime tells us about the relationship between moral interests and national interests; bilateral foreign policy as a principal mechanism of international action on behalf of human rights; and the role of non-commercial non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the international politics of human rights. Two case studies are presented, one dealing with international responses to the Tiananmen massacre and the other with the Syrian civil war. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that asks whether the international community has, and should strive, to acquire a responsibility to protect people from human rights violations.

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