This book presents a framework for understanding human rights as a terrain of struggle over power between states, private interests, and organized, bottom–up social movements. The authors develop a critical sociology of human rights focusing on the concept of the human rights enterprise: the process through which rights are defined and realized. While states are designated arbiters of human rights according to human rights instruments, they do not exist in a vacuum. Political sociology helps us to understand how global neoliberalism and powerful non–governmental actors (particularly economic actors such as corporations and financial institutions) deeply affect states ability and likelihood to enforce human rights standards.
This book offers keen insights for understanding rights claims, and the institutionalization of, access to, and restrictions on human rights. It will be invaluable to human rights advocates, and undergraduate and graduate students across the social sciences.
1. The Human Rights Enterprise and a Critical Sociology of Human Rights
2. Power and the State: Global Economic Restructuring and the Global Recession
3. The Human Rights Enterprise: A Genealogy of Continuing Struggles
4. Private Tyrannies: Rethinking the Rights of Corporate Citizens
5. Current Contexts and Implications for Human Rights Praxis
. This penetrating and provocative analysis brings the lens of critical sociology to bear on today's international human rights regime. It explores corporate and state abuses of power that constrain the protection and fulfilment of human rights, particularly within the United States. These abuses of power are being increasingly challenged by grass–roots movements aimed at ending gross human rights violations. The authors push the boundaries of political science, sociology, and human rights scholarship, and provide a rich and timely examination of contemporary attacks on human rights that will be helpful to both scholars and on–the–ground human rights advocates.. Ken Neubeck, University of Connecticut