American Exceptionalism and Human Rights

By Michael Ignatieff | Go to book overview

Chapter 9
Integrity-Anxiety?

FRANK I. MICHELMAN


Introduction

Twenty years ago, talk of American exceptionalism in the field of human rights would doubtless have been tinged, at least, with congratulation; these days, maybe not. Spoken today, the term probably insinuates a degree, at least, of insularity and smugness.1

Consider the movement dubbed “judicial globalization” by one of its chroniclers.2 Ever more widely and regularly, judiciaries in democracies abroad have been treating each other's judgments as required reading in the work of domestic or regional bill-of-rights adjudication. From this movement the American Supreme Court has stood noticeably aloof, thus earning itself a mildly pariah status, at least in globalist circles. In their daily work of applying the guarantees in our Constitution's Bill of Rights to contested cases, our judges, by and large, have proceeded with what has been called a “parochial” disregard for parallel human-rights interpretations occurrent elsewhere in the world.3 “Parochial” is not a term of endearment. (One might, after all, have spoken, more colorlessly, of “legal particularism.”)4

Assertions of various sorts of exceptionalist chiseling by the United States are in the air. Do Americans (Grenada? Iraq?) claim undeserved, special privileges to act unilaterally against human rights violations abroad? Do Americans (the International Criminal Court?) obnoxiously

1 But see Harold Hongju Koh, “Foreword: On American Exceptionalism,” Stanford Law
Review
55 (2003): 1479–1527, at 1480 (speaking of “the negative and the overlooked posi-
tive faces of American exceptionalism”).

2 See Anne-Marie Slaughter, “Judicial Globalization,” Virginia Journal of International
Law
40 (2000): 1103–24; Anne-Marie Slaughter, “A Global Community of Courts,” Har-
vard Journal of International Law
44 (2003) 191–219.

3 Slaughter, “Globalization,” supra note 2, at 1117–18; see Lorraine E. Weinrib, “Consti-
tutional Conceptions and Constitutional Comparativism,” in Defining the Field of Compar-
ative Constitutional Law
, ed. Vicki C. Jackson and Mark Tushnet (Westport, CT: Praeger,
2002), 3–34, at 4 (“The constitutional jurisprudence of the United States has remained
remarkably untouched by the new comparative constitutionalism”).

4 See Sujit Choudhry, “Globalization in Search of Justification: Toward a Theory of Com-
parative Constitutional Interpretation,” Indiana Law Journal 74 (1999): 819–92, at 830.

-241-

Notes for this page

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 ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book 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 book

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

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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 page

Bookmark this page
American Exceptionalism and Human Rights
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

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?

Help
Full screen
/ 353

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access 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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.