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Editorial Reviews

This useful overview includes a history of the development of international human rights, a look at the role of the United Nations, and considerations of torture, privacy, and the death penalty, among other subjects. Author Andrew Clapham also considers whether to extend the concept of human rights to necessities such as food and shelter, concluding that such fundamentals do fall under the human rights umbrella. Hot-button issues such as the Guantanamo Bay detention center are also considered, and the book takes an account of where the human rights movement is heading as a whole. Performer Jonathan Yen's voice is smooth and clear. A valuable backgrounder for students of the subject, or those who just want to brush up on the current controversies.

Publisher's Summary

From the controversial incarceration of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, to the brutal ethnic cleansing being practiced in Darfur, to the widespread denial of equal rights to women in many areas of the world, human rights violations are a constant presence in the news and in our lives.

Taking an international perspective, and focusing on highly topical issues such as torture, arbitrary detention, privacy, health, and discrimination, this Very Short Introduction will help readers to understand for themselves, the controversies and complexities behind this vitally relevant issue. Looking at the philosophical justification for rights, the historical origins of human rights and how they are formed in law, Andrew Clapham explains what our human rights actually are, what they might be, and where the human rights movement is heading.

In a hurry? Listen to more Very Short Introductions.
©2007 Andrew Clapham (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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wonderful overview of human rights issues

This short introduction provides a nice, concise introduction human rights history and contemporary debates. It was also fair and thoughtful, not leaning too heavily on one ideological position. Great into to the topic.

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Incoherent, effete, full of self loathing

This isn't a short introduction, Clapham has no idea how to distill his ideas for beginners. Instead he presents a pretentious, garbled description of why human rights experts are a discipline drowning in doubt about their self worth. He certainly convinced me that his discipline failed to fulfill its early promise and that it would be a complete waste of my time to pursue it further

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Can I give this awful reader negative stars?

Unbelievably terrible. His pronunciation managed to be both weirdly pretentious and painfully incorrect at the same time. Not even consistent- it was entertaining to see how many ridiculous ways he could butcher Srebenica, but equally bad with French, Arabic, and names of all nationalities. He pronounced Amartya Sen's name 'shin.' Half the time I didn't recognize names or concepts I was already familiar with - it was that bad.

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  • Kate Fahey
  • 01-04-18

Great introduction to Human Rights.

This is a great introduction to the topic of human rights. It is easy to listen to, well structured and informative.