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10th Anniversary Workshops: Governance & Human Rights

February 26, 2016 - February 27, 2016

EXPANDING HUMAN RIGHTS: 21ST CENTURY NORMS AND GOVERNANCE


In the 21st century, the human rights repertoire established during the post-war years is necessary but not sufficient for global governance of an expanding range of abuses.  All human rights campaigns must work to establish standards of violation, legitimate bearers of rights, responsibility to address human rights claims, and implementation mechanisms. But beyond the established human rights model, for “private wrongs” committed by non-state actors and transnational forces, rights campaigns must work to identify new rights standards, find new leverage points, and establish new responsibilities for states and global governance.  This project will analyze the 21st century expansions of the norms and mechanisms of human rights that have emerged to meet these challenges: the mobilization of new actors, claims, policies, and accountability.

In the second generation, human rights is caught between critiques that the classic corpus of rights does not attend to the most vulnerable populations and emerging forms of exploitation, and converse critiques that even conventional rights cannot be enforced or fulfilled.  In this project, we respond with affirmative evidence of new mechanisms for enforcing existing rights and new strategies for claiming rights for new populations and processes.  We will analyze how an expanded notion of human rights can lead to new possibilities for reform. We are an international and inter-disciplinary team of scholars combining established figures with fresh perspectives from the U.S., Japan, Spain, India, and Canada.  We apply frameworks from political science, law, sociology, international relations, and peace studies, and strive to inform theory with practice.


EXPANDING RIGHTS WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

VENUE: ‘Santa Barbara Mission’ Room, University Center

Friday, February 26, 2015:

9:30-10:00       Workshop introduction and overview

Panel 1: New Actors (10:00-12:30)

10:00-10:45     Philip Ayoub, Drexel University

LGBT Movements in the New Europe

Coffee break

11:00-11:45     Felipe Gomez Isa, Duesto University

Indigenous Peoples: From Objects of Protection to Subjects of Rights

11:45-12:30     Kiyoteru Tsutsui, University of Michigan

The Double-Edged Sword? The Empowering Capacity of Global Human Rights

Lunch

Panel 2: New Claims (1:00-3:00)

1:00-1:45         Rhoda Howard Hassmann, Wilfred Laurier University and the Balsillie School of International Affairs

The Right to Food: A Civil/Political Right

1:45-2:30         Madeline Baer, San Diego State University

Water and Sanitation as a Human Right

2:30-3:00         Alison Brysk, University of California Santa Barbara

Reproductive Rights and Violence Against Women

Coffee break

Panel 3: New Mechanisms (3:15-5:30)

3:15-4:00         Wayne Sandholtz, University of Southern California

Regional Institutions and International Law

4:00-4:30         Valerie Hudson (Skype), Texas A&M University

Feminist Foreign Policy

4:30-5:00         Shareen Hertel, University of Connecticut

Putting Multi-stakeholder Consultation in Perspective: The Genealogy of Popular Participating in Economic Rights Policymaking

5:00-5:30         George Lopez, Notre Dame University

Hurting Those Who Hurt Others: The Utility of Targeted Sanctions

Saturday, February 27

Panel 4: New Responsibilities (9:30-12:30)

9:30-10:15       Michael Stohl, University of California Santa Barbara

Human Rights and Corporate Social Responisbility

10:15-11:00     Hyeran Jo, Texas A&M University

Rebel Groups and Human Rights: Expanding Obligations

11:00-11:45     Claire Apodaca, Virginia Tech University

Expanding Responsibilities: Human Rights Obligations of International Governmental Organizations

11:45-12:30     Wrap-up discussion of edited volume themes

Lunch


EXPANDING HUMAN RIGHTS: ABSTRACTS

Friday

Panel 1: New Actors

LGBT Movements in the New Europe

Philip Ayoub, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Drexel University:  

This chapter offers an account of the transnational process of movement mobilization surrounding LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans*) activism in Europe. For a movement that has emerged with speed and suddenness on the global stage of 21st century activism, it sheds lights on the transnational dynamics of mobilizing new actors and new identities across borders.  It thus builds on earlier conceptions of national political opportunity structures for mobilization, to further explore how they interact with regional institutions. Specifically, I ask, how do LGBT minorities organize across boarders? How do identities and skills travel and adapt in various national contexts? The findings suggest that LGBT activism relies on transnational resources – primarily, social spaces and organizational capacity – that are scarce in many member states but readily available in others. These opportunities among member states serve as mobilizing structures that bring together distinct groups of international actors. Internationalization also alters the tactics that transnational actors use when engaging with authorities in the target state. Employing socialization mechanisms that highlight appropriate behavior, actors tactically frame their demands in a European discourse by associating the issue of LGBT acceptance with democratic responsibilities as members of the EU community.

Click here to download paper.

Indigenous Peoples: From Objects of Protection to Subjects of Rights

Felipe Gomez Isa, Professor of Public International Law, Deusto University (Spain)

Indigenous peoples have been systematically excluded from the process of evolution of International Human Rights Law. In the 1970s and 1980s the United Nations (UN) started to pay increasing attention to the situation of indigenous peoples worldwide, with a number of initiatives to adequately deal with their claims of protection and to open institutional spaces for their meaningful participation. Against the background of the emerging mobilization of indigenous peoples, some relevant international legal documents were adopted, and UN human rights treaty-bodies and UN specialized agencies gradually focused on the marginalized situation of indigenous peoples. The most remarkable achievement of this move is the adoption on 13 September 2007 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) by the UN General Assembly by an overwhelming majority. Being fully aware of its non-binding nature, the UN Declaration could play a relevant role in the dynamic process of expansion of norms and mechanisms for the protection of indigenous peoples. In this sense, the context, the content, the institutional architecture for its implementation and the circumstances under which this Declaration was adopted, with a strong backing from indigenous peoples themselves, help clarify the legal scope and the prospects of the Declaration to influence both state behaviour and the actions of international organizations as regards indigenous peoples, in particular the UN.

Click here to download paper.

The Double-Edged Sword?: The Empowering Capacity of Global Human Rights

Kiyoteru Tsutsui, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Michigan

The global expansion of human rights ideas and institutions has empowered many previously underprivileged populations. Those individuals resigned to the status quo of government repression and socio-economic marginalization have begun to claim their civil/political and economic/social rights after being exposed to global human rights and, in some cases, succeeded in obtaining those rights. Global human rights have been a powerful weapon of the weak in this regard. On the other hand, social groups that may have been opposed to human rights principles earlier have also started framing their claims in human rights language. Conservative groups claiming rights to their dominant culture, populist politicians using human rights issues to fan the flame of nationalism, and repressive governments accusing other countries of human rights violations to distract domestic discontent are some of the examples of a growing number of cases of new usage of human rights language. In this paper, I examine how global human rights has come to work as a double-edged sword, empowering disadvantaged groups as most human rights defenders intended, while also providing a new tool for power holders to advance their goals. The empirical analysis will draw on the use of global human rights by ethnic minority groups and conservative political groups in Japan.

Click here to download paper.

Panel 2: New Claims

The Right to Food: A Civil/Political Right

Rhoda Howard-Hassmann, Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights, Wilfred Laurier University and The Balsillie School of International Affairs (Waterloo, Canada) 

In this chapter I argue that fulfillment of the right to food depends on protection of civil and political rights. However, neither various documents on the right to development nor documents on the right to food acknowledged this dependence until the late 1990s: instead, they protected both the sovereign right to de-development and the sovereign right to violate human rights. Yet to ensure their right to food, citizens need classic civil and political rights such as a free press and the right to vote. They also need citizenship rights, mobility rights, the right to own property, and the right to work.  Moreover, the international human rights regime should acknowledge that mechanisms that promote their right to food also include economic liberty, foreign investment, responsive governments and responsible and capable civil services. I draw on my own recent research on North Korea, Zimbabwe, and Venezuela to illustrate these points.

Click here to download paper.

Water and Sanitation as a Human Right

Madeline Baer, Assistant Professor of Political Science, San Diego State University    

In 2010 both the United Nations General Assembly and the Human Rights Council passed resolutions recognizing the human right to water and sanitation. The resolutions acknowledge that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realization of all human rights. This chapter examines the transnational campaigns to pass these resolutions and to explicitly define water as a human right at the global level. I analyze the strategies, obstacles and accomplishments of the right to water campaigns with a focus on the major platforms used by activists for discursive debate over the issue. These platforms exist within the human rights regime, as seen in the campaign for the Human Rights Council resolution; in the water policy world, where activists attempt to introduce the right to water at the triennial World Water Forum meetings; and in global development circles, as seen in the campaign to include the human right to water and sanitation in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for the post-2015 development agenda. The chapter discusses how these transnational campaigns for the right to water are working both within established human rights institutions and outside them to define the responsibilities of states and global actors for a new human rights claim.

Click here to download paper.

Reproductive Rights and Violence against Women

Alison Brysk, Mellichamp Chair of Global Governance, University of California Santa Barbara

Like other forms of human rights abuse, violence against women is challenged most successfully when it can be linked to a pre-existing and powerful frame, as in “sex slavery” for human trafficking, rape as a war crime, or “health rights” for FGM/C. But acting globally to end violence against women also requires an expansion of human rights frames, claims, and mechanisms.  Gender-based killing and population patterns have been framed as “femicide,” inspiring waves of legislation and mobilization. Reproductive rights are the most recent, contingent, and contested rights in both international and domestic law, yet sexual self-determination is the foundation of women’s security from rape, forced marriage, and domestic violence.  How are new claims for reproductive rights shaping global action against gender violence—from Amnesty International campaigns to grassroots movements?

Click here to download paper.

Panel 3: New Mechanisms

Regional Institutions and International Law

Wayne Sandholtz, John A. McCone Chair in International Relations, University of Southern California

The promise of international human rights law has been that universal standards would elevate local rights practices.  But international law is a tool that has to be used by people, and people use law in legal institutions.  International human rights norms make a difference when they are internalized and integrated into institutions that people can access and use, that is, into domestic institutions.  This paper argues that regional human rights systems can promote that integration in ways that global mechanisms (human rights treaty bodies, the International Criminal Court) cannot.  Regional human rights systems can integrate with domestic legal institutions when:  (1) regional rights treaties are incorporated into domestic law; (2) regional courts regularly scrutinize and condemn national practices that fall short of regional standards; and (3) domestic institutions internalize the decisions of the regional court in interpreting and applying domestic law.  To the extent that these forms of integration occur, they establish human rights as matters of effective common concern among states in a regional community.  A comparison of the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American System of Human Rights explores the conditions under which integrated regional human rights systems emerge and develop.

Click here to download paper.

Feminist Foreign Policy

Valerie Hudson, Bush Chair in Government, Texas A & M University

Various streams of thought and policy gathered in 2015 when Foreign Minister Margot Wallström of Sweden stated that her country would pursue a “feminist foreign policy.”  Progress for women’s human rights had culminated in the first explicit state articulation of such a foreign policy: from CEDAW in 1979 to the Beijing World Conference on Women in 1995, to UNSCR 1325 in 2000, to the articulation of the Hillary Doctrine by US Secretary of State Clinton in 2009, to the enshrinement of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in the National Actions Plans of almost fifty nations by the present day. In Wallstrom’s own words, “A feminist foreign policy is now being formulated, the purpose of which is to combat discrimination against women, improve conditions for women and contribute to peace and development. Women’s participation in decision-making must be strengthened in countries at peace, countries in conflict and countries in which reconstruction is under way. This will also strengthen the sustainability of our societies. […] A feminist foreign policy will be an integral part of activities throughout the Swedish Foreign Service, and aims to strengthen women’s rights, improve women’s access to resources and increase women’s representation.”  In this paper, I will examine the road that brought us to feminist foreign policy, as well as examine the promise and pitfalls of such a stance.

Putting Multi-stakeholder Consultation in Perspective: The Genealogy of Popular Participation in Economic Rights Policymaking 

Shareen Hertel, Associate Professor of Political Science and Human Rights, University of Connecticut

This chapter argues that the most recent innovations in business and human rights theory and practice such as the emphasis on the corporate responsibility to “remedy” abuse can be explained as a natural outgrowth of the genealogy of the norm and practice of popular participation in economic rights policymaking. I trace the evolution of the norm and various corresponding mechanisms for participation by drawing on a combination of secondary source scholarly works and primary source documents from nongovernmental organizations and intergovernmental bodies. I identify three main phases in the evolutionary process: participation as damage control (circa 1980s), participation as testimonial (1990s), and participation as vehicle for entitlement (2000s). At each juncture, specific new mechanisms emerge that both enlarge and simultaneously constrain the nature of stakeholder involvement in economic rights policymaking.

Click here to download paper.

Hurting Those Who Hurt Others: The Utility of Targeted Sanctions

George Lopez, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh Chair in Peace Studies, Notre Dame University

Economic sanctions mechanisms have evolved from a single donor nation withdrawing economic aid and trade to protest human rights violations, coups and the rise of dictators, to coordinated action by multilateral organizations imposing targeted sanctions against individuals and entities to punish or constrain their specific activities that violate international law or norms. The development and institutionalization of ‘smart sanctions’ provides an array of coercive measures to the international community that have proven somewhat effective in particular cases of massive rights abuses and on-going atrocities.   This use of multilateral economic sanctions has been advocated by transnational human rights NGOS for two decades, and their imposition and enforcement has occupied an increasingly prominent place in the coercive tool kit of national policy makers.  This chapter evaluates and compares, United Nations, European Union and United States sanctions efforts for improving human rights and provides policy suggestions for more effective use of sanctions in the future.

Click here to download paper.

Saturday

Panel 4: New Responsibilities

Human Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility

Michael Stohl, Professor of Communication and Director of the Orfalea Center of Global and International Studies, University of California Santa Barbara

Employing the emergence of the human rights regime as a paradigmatic case comparison, this paper explores how globalization processes have shaped the nature, scope, and time frame of considerations of social responsibility and the development of a corporate social responsibility (CSR) regime. The paper will explore the formal articulation of norms; the increasing role of NGOs; changing power dynamics between state, NGOs, and multinational corporations, and the implications for our understanding of human rights.

Click here to download paper.

Rebel Groups and Human Rights: Expanding Obligations

Hyeran Jo, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Texas A & M University 

Rebel groups are significant players in contemporary world politics, making and breaking armed conflicts worldwide. What human rights obligations do rebel groups have? Do they subscribe to the idea of human rights? This chapter unearths the patterns of rebel groups’ commitment to human rights between 1990 and 2010. The findings have policy implications for the engagement of rebel groups in civil conflicts, which contributes to the volume theme of expanding responsibilities as a necessary component of expanding human rights.

Click here to download paper.

Expanding Responsibilities: Human Rights Obligations of International Governmental Organizations

Claire Apodaca, Associate Professor of Political Science, Virginia Tech University

International governmental organizations (IGOs) are associations, generally formed by multilateral treaties, whose members are states and whose authority derives from state governments. IGOs are important actors in the international system because they can have a significant impact on state decision-making abilities. The increased involvement of powerful international organizations in various aspects of the economic, social and political decision-making process in developing countries brings with it an obligation on the part of the IGO to ensure that the advice, the policies, and the programs they impose promote economic rights, or at a minimum, do not impede the realization of these rights. However, international governmental organizations are not parties to international human rights treaties. Yet they are still obligated to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights. IGOs are subject to human rights obligations on several fronts: 1) IGOs, as specialized agencies, are members of the UN family and bound by the UN Charter; 2) IGOs are often autonomous subjects of international law with rights and duties and, therefore, are bound by customary law and peremptory norms; 3) IGOs are bound by the obligations of their constituent member states; and 4) the reality that certain IGOs possess considerable power in the decision-making process within member states.

Click here to download paper.

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February 26, 2016
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February 27, 2016
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Governance and Human Rights Hub