The UN Human Rights Council

The UN Human Rights Council

The UN Human Rights Council

The UN Human Rights Council


The UN Human Rights Council provides a detailed insight into this important organization. The UN was founded in the hope that lasting peace would be built on the foundations of human rights and economic and social progress. In 2006 the Commission on Human Rights was replaced by the Human Rights Council as the principal UN body concerned with human rights. It is even possible that the council might eventually become a principal organ of the world organization.

The Human Rights Council is already the subject of major public interest and controversy. The Council has been criticized for having dropped some of the protection strategies of the former commission and this book aims to present a balanced view of the council, outlining its current role, acknowledging where it has made positive contributions, highlighting the deficiencies, and identifying options for improving the body's future work.

This book is destined to become the leading text on the Human Rights Council and will be essential reading for all those concerned with the future of international relations international organizations and human rights.


The current volume is the fifty-fifth title in a dynamic series on global institutions. The series strives (and, based on the volumes published to date, succeeds in its aim) to provide readers with definitive guides to the most visible aspects of what many of us know as “global governance.” Remarkable as it may seem, there exist relatively few in-depth treatments of prominent global bodies, processes, and associated issues, much less an entire series of concise and complementary volumes. Those that do exist are either out of date, or inaccessible to the nonspecialist reader, or seek to develop a specialized understanding of particular aspects of an institution or process rather than offer an overall account of its functioning. Similarly, existing books have often been written in highly technical language or have been crafted “in-house” and are notoriously self-serving and narrow.

The advent of electronic media has undoubtedly helped research and teaching by making data and primary documents of international organizations more widely available, but it has also complicated matters. The growing reliance on the Internet and other electronic methods of finding information about key international organizations and processes has served, ironically, to limit the educational and analytical materials to which most serious readers have ready access and on which they rely—namely, books. Public relations documents, raw data, and loosely refereed web sites do not make for intelligent analysis. Official publications are suspect because of their ideological or selfpromoting slant. Paradoxically, a growing range of purportedly independent web sites offering analyses of the activities of particular organizations have emerged, but inadvertently they frustrate access to authoritative, readable, critical, and well-researched texts. The market for such has actually been reduced by the ready availability of varying quality electronic materials.

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