In the English-speaking world, or at least in that part of it represented by the North Atlantic region, there have been serious analytic studies of the practice of internationally recognized human rights only since about 1970. Before then there were, of course, many studies of fundamental personal rights from a theoretical or philosophical point of view. And there were also studies of particular human rights and their violations, whether one speaks, for example, of genocide or apartheid. But only from about 1970, because of a combination of events, did the English-speaking world began to address the question of the implementation or practice of internationally recognized human rights on a broad scale.
By roughly 1970 one had (I) the approval by the UN General Assembly of the United Nations covenants on human rights (one on civil and political and one on social, economic, and cultural human rights); (2) the shift in the majority of states at the United Nations toward the developing countries, and their preoccupation with the language of rights in relation to South Africa and Israel and its occupied territories; (3) the focus by the Council of Europe on authoritarian Greece and its many and serious rights violations in a Western Europe long known for its serious attention to rights, and where the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms manifested authoritative mechanisms for dealing with rights violations; and (4) the consolida