Making Human Rights Work Globally

International Labour Review, January 1, 2003 | Go to article overview

Making Human Rights Work Globally


Making human rights work globally. By Anthony WOODIWISS. London, Glasshouse Press, 2003. xii + 145 pp. Bibliography, index. ISBN 1-90438-508-7.

Ever heard of the sociology of human rights? If not, this thought-provoking little book will bring enlightenment and, to readers with a particular interest in labour rights, a whole lot besides. Workers' rights are indeed the focus of the author's analysis, because work is both "the defining aspect of many people's lives and a central concern of sociology". The principal aims of his study are: (a) to identify those aspects of established human rights practice that make the global enforcement of labour-related human rights so problematic; and (b) to propose practical solutions to the problems thus identified.

In order to break out of the debate's routine polarization between universalism and relativism, Woodiwiss stresses the need to see human rights as means rather than ends. To do so, he argues, brings "an intellectually liberatory realisation in that it provides the key with which the human rights box may be sociologically unlocked". The significance of this proposition lies largely in the historically antagonistic relationship between civil and political rights, and their association with liberalism, on the one hand, and economic and social rights, and their association with socialism, on the other.

Now, with globalization and the demise of the former communist block, the debate has shifted from East-West to North-South with a strong bias towards an American conception of justiciable rights based on liberties. But "only the United States has a labour rights system whose critical premise is a 'liberty', whilst there are not only wholly justiciable, but also, in other contexts, far more effective systems that have been democratically approved" (the examples the author cites include Australia, France, Japan and Sweden). Besides, in a "northern" economy where employers possess some autonomy and labour is free to attempt to take advantage of this, a labour law system configured in terms of liberties "may be sufficient to allow labour to secure some redress of the inequalities that are intrinsic to capitalist relations of production", but this does not work in "southern" economies where much local capital is subordinate to transnational capital.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Making Human Rights Work Globally
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.