Human Rights and the Global Marketplace: Economic, Social, and Cultural Dimensions

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At a time of great change, turmoil, and contradiction in international human rights law and politics, authors Jeanne M. Woods and Hope Lewis have responded to the growing need for a classroom text that focuses squarely on economic, social, and cultural rights—"the neglected step-children of the human rights family"—and their intimate inter-relationship to civil and political rights.

Students and instructors will find the results informative and provocative. Intended for use in law school, graduate, and undergraduate survey courses, as well as seminars on human rights, this book will be useful for teachers using both international and comparative approaches.

The text is divided into four accessible parts:

I. "Human Rights and the Global Marketplace: Discursive Themes" introduces the nature and scope of human rights discourse.

II. "International Instruments and Their Implementation" takes students through an array of international and regional human rights treaties that address economic, social, and cultural rights.

III. "Power, Politics, and Poverty: Structural Challenges to the Realization of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights" addresses major controversies in, and barriers to, the realization of socio-economic and cultural rights.

IV. "Comparative Approaches" is valuable for international human rights, comparative law, and comparative constitutional law courses.

Throughout the book, the authors provide notes, questions, and further reading suggestions to stimulate classroom discussion, debate, and research. The volume also includes valuable appendices, with a bibliography of relevant texts and articles and a selection of NGOs that focus on these issues.

Published under the Transnational Publishers imprint.

Winner of the Notable Contribution in the Field of Human Rights Scholarship award at the US Human Rights Network National Conference in Chicago in April 2008

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Jeanne M. Woods is the Henry F. Bonura, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law at Loyola, New Orleans School of Law, where she teaches International Law and Human Rights. Hope Lewis is Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law and has taught courses in Human Rights and Development, Human Rights in the Global Economy, and Human Rights: Race Gender, and Culture, since 1991.
The human rights community has waited a long time for Human Rights and the Global Marketplace, which explicates—and vindicates—long-neglected economic, social, and cultural rights. It provides a thorough and rigorous introduction to their theoretical foundations, a gripping and scholarly account of their historical development, and an illuminating up-to-the-minute guide to their practical applications throughout the world. It is a stunning achievement. . . . Human Rights and the Global Marketplace, in short, is the right book at the right time. . . . Drawing on politics, economics, history, philosophy, and law, each part carefully builds on the reader’s knowledge, making an otherwise overwhelming range of material manageable. The result is a volume that serves both as a student-friendly introduction to a complex and unfamiliar area of the law, and as an invaluable resource for scholars with a working knowledge of economic rights in general seeking a more recondite grasp of a particular right or application. . . . As other human rights texts have shown, a human rights perspective can transform students’ understanding of the world. This book is both more ambitious and more subversive, however, because its human rights framework puts economic rights at the very center of the analysis. It not only transforms students into human rights advocates, but transforms our basic understanding of human rights. It is a deeply original and galvanizing work. . . . This volume. . .is undoubtedly [Woods and Lewis’s] most important contribution to date. It is not only a rich and rewarding immersion in economic rights, but an invitation to join in the practical work of building a culture of economic rights. It offers a vast amount of material, nuanced and comprehensive, pragmatic and useful.
- Barbara Stark, "Human Rights and the Global Marketplace: Economic, Social and Cultural Dimensions" (review)
Human Rights Quarterly - Volume 29, Number 2, May 2007, pp. 515-24.

Chapter One: Global Narratives/Global Realities

Chapter Two: Theoretical Paradigms
A. Historical Roots
B. Foundations of Liberal Rights Discourse
C. Critical Voices
D. Cultural Relativism
E. Justiciability and Democratic Accountability


Chapter Three: International Treaties
A. The International Bill of Rights
B. The Race Convention
C. The Women’s Convention
D. The Convention on the Rights of the Child
E. The International Labour Organization

Chapter Four: Regional Charters
A. The Inter-American System
B. The European Systems
C. The African Union


Chapter Five: Human Development and Human Rights; Introduction: Perspectives on Poverty and Development
A. The IFIs: Enforcing the Washington Consensus
B. Women in and Under Development
C. Is Development a Human Right?

Chapter Six: Self-Determination, Culture, and Rights: Conflicts, Challenges, and Possibilities
A. Self-Determination: Indigenous Peoples, Foreign Occupation
B. Language
C. The “Exotic Other” – Gender, Culture, and Religious Traditions


Chapter Seven: India: The “Directive Principles” Approach
A. Judicial Discourse on Poverty and Rights
B. Addressing the Status of Women and Children
C. Neoliberalism and the Limits of Judicial Intervention: Taking Off the Mask?;

Chapter Eight: South Africa: The Bill of Rights Approach
A. The Historical Context
B. The Constitutional Entrenchment of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights;

Chapter Nine: The Council of Europe – A Blending of the Categories
A. The European Convention of Human Rights
B. Eligibility for Social Security and Welfare Benefits
C. Right to a Safe Environment
D. The Right to Free Legal Aid
E. The Positive Dimension of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
F. Equal Protection

Chapter Ten: The United States of America: Federal Rejection, State Protection
A. The Federal System
B. State Constitutions
C. Erasing the Divide: Internationalizing the Rights Struggle
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