Skip to content

Volume 9, Issue 3

25 August 2014

Societies Without Borders

Human Rights and the Social Sciences

Volume 9, Issue 2

Edited by David L. Brunsma, Keri E. Iyall Smith, and Mark Frezzo

Book Review Editor, Tugrul Keskin

Film Review Editor, LaDawn Haglund

Editorial Assistant Erin Cournoyer

 

DAVID BRUNSMA, VIRGINIA TECH; KERI E. IYALL SMITH, SUFFOLK UNIVERSITY; MARK FREZZO, UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI

Our Years As Editors

BRUCE FRIESEN, THE UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA AND BRIAN GRAN, CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY

A Word From the New Editors

Articles

MICHELLE M. JACOB, HERITAGE UNIVERSITY AND UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO, SARAH AUGUSTINE, HERITAGE UNIVERSITY, COREY HODGE, HERITAGE UNIVERSITY, AND MARY JAMES, HERITAGE UNIVERSITY

Indigenous Methodology in Practice: Starting a Community-Based Research Center on the Yakama Reservation

JESSE P. VAN GERVEN, UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI

“It is Laced With Faults”: American Indians, Public Participation and the Politics of Siting a High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository

LINDSEY N. KINGSTON, WEBSTER UNIVERSITY

The Rise of Human Rights Education: Opportunities, Challenges, and Future Possibilities

Notes From the Field

XI CHEN, QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY

Making Visible the Invisible: Nighttime Lights Data and the Closing of the Human Rights Information Gap

Book Reviews

MOHAMMED SALEHIN, THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY

Review of A Quiet Revolution: The Veil’s Resurgence, from the Middle East to America by Leila Ahmed

JARED DEL ROSSO, UNIVERSITY OF DENVER

Review of Torture: A Sociology of Violence and Human Rights by Lisa Hajjar

ANDREW CROOKSTON, WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY

Review of Global Coloniality and Power in Guatemala by Egla Martínez-Salazar

 

Volume 9, Issue 1

22 April 2014

Societies Without Borders

Human Rights and the Social Sciences

Volume 9, Issue 1

Special Issue on Gender and Human Rights

Edited by David L. Brunsma, Keri E. Iyall Smith, and Mark Frezzo

Book Review Editor, Tugrul Keskin

Film Review Editor, LaDawn Haglund

Editorial Assistant Erin Cournoyer

Articles

MONICA L. MELTON, SPELMAN COLLEGE

African American Women, HIV/AIDS, and Human Rights in the US

BARRET KATUNA & DAVITA SILFEN GLASBERG, UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT

Rules vs. Rights? Social Control, Dignity, and the Right to Housing in the Shelter System

ROSEANNE NJIRU, UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT

Political Battles on Women’s Bodies: Post-Election Conflicts and Violence Against Women in Internally Displaced Persons Camps in Kenya

DANIELA JAUK, UNIVERSITY OF GRAZ

Insiderness, Outsiderness, and Situated Accessibility – How Women Activists Navigate UN’s Commission on the Status of Women

Notes From the Field

EMMI BEVENSEE, THE SCHOOL FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAINING

Transwomen, the Prison-Industrial Complex, and Human Rights: Neoliberalism and Trans-Resistance

SUSAN C. PEARCE, EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY

Pride in Istanbul

Book Reviews

MANISHA DESAI, UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT

Review of Edges of Global Justice: The World Social Forum and Its “Others” by Janet M. Conway

ANNIE ISABEL FUKUSHIMA, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY

Review of The Anti-Slavery Project: From the Slave Trade to Human Trafficking by Joel Quirk

NICOLE FOX, BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY

Review of Forgotten Genocides: Oblivion, Denial, and Memory by Rene Lemarchand (Editor)

Film Review

BETH WILLIFORD, MANHATTANVILLE COLLEGE

Review of Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth Directed by Frauke Sandig and Eric Black

Provocation #2 Political Self-Determination

17 March 2014

By Judith R. Blau

The focus of this provocation is political self-determination, recognizing that in the real world, political self-determinations is confounded with other expressions of self-determination (social, cultural, economic). It is helpful to note that assertions and claims to self-determination – regardless of the expressive form they take – are met with resistance – ergo, the American Revolution and Palestinian Statehood.  I suggested in the 1st provocation that equality is the objective. As we move along, we might consider that sometimes a main objective is being different

American accounts of the origin of the UN stress that it was an international response to the Holocaust. There is no question that this was the case, but that is only half the story. It is worth quoting from a current UN website to show the important role decolonization played in the founding of the UN, and – note too – continues to play

In a vast political reshaping of the world, more than 80 former colonies comprising some 750 million people have gained independence since the creation of the United Nations. At present, 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories (NSGTs) across the globe remain to be decolonized, home to nearly 2 million people. Thus, the process of decolonization is not complete (emphasis added).

Article 1 of the 1945 UN Charter is clear that what drives and legitimates self-determination is the principle of equality. It is a given for universal peace.

To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace (emphases added).

In even stronger terms, self-determination is cast as a right, in identical language in Article 1 of both the Civil and Political Covenant and the Economic, Social and Cultural Covenant:

All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

Thus, the Charter and Article 1 of both Covenants justify movements (if not revolutions) for self-determination –both retrospectively (say, the United States) and contemporaneously (say, Palestine and Scotland).

According to the UN Charter and the two Covenants, political self-determination is indistinguishable from economic, social or cultural self-determination, as suggested by the fact that Article 1 is identical in both Covenants. Seems straightforward, doesn’t it? Far from it. Take Scotland. Is it politics, oil and economics, or possibly culture that is driving the independence movement? Maybe all of the above.

Varied Forums for Political Self-Determination

The Security Council

Under the scrutiny of its Practices and Charter Research Branch, the Security Council must not, in principle, table any matter involving self-determination. It happens, but there are consequences. In 2011 Obama signaled that the U.S. would veto a resolution for Palestinian Statehood, with the result that it was tabled.

The AU and UNESO

Perhaps in response – or acting in solidarity – in 2013 the African Union granted non-observer status to Palestine, and earlier, in 2011, on the international stage, UNESCO granted full membership to the Palestinians. Like spoiled children, Israel joined the US in refusing to pay dues to UNESCO, with the consequence that neither are currently members. All this in spite of the fact that more than half – 120 – of the world’s countries support Palestinian Statehood.

The General Assembly

On 29 November 2012, the General Assembly (GA) voted to accord Palestine non-member Observer- State status in the United Nations. The vote was 138 in favor to 9 against (Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Panama, Palau, United States), with 41 abstentions. Although Palestine’s delegation has had observer status since 1974, the GA vote means that Palestine is recognized by the UN as an independent country, though still not a UN member.

The Puzzle

Decolonization remains an objective for the United Nations since peoples who are not self-determining cannot participate as equals on the global stage and cannot protect themselves from neighborhood or international bullies.

Nevertheless, for a peoples to announce to the world –“wow, look at us! …..we are self-determining!” — obscures the rationale, the grievances, and the existential grounding of the claim. Try these on for size:

Palestine:  far-reaching claims: historical, political, economic, cultural

Puerto Rico: Language, cultural, economic (is poorer than stateside)

Scotland:  Economic (is richer than England)

Catalonia:  Economic (is better-off than the rest of Spain), language

Crimea:  Language, ethnicity

EQUALITY and SELF-DETERMINATION: A PROVOCATION

11 March 2014

By Judith R. Blau

The assumption in this provocation is that we sociologists have not thought through the significance of self-determination in the context of the current crisis in Ukraine and Crimea. I do not propose answers but instead try to provoke them. I break the provocations up into several parts, inviting others to respond or to argue with each of several provocations.  The first provocation has to do with EQUALITY, the second POLITICAL SELF-DETERMINATION, and then we consider other forms of self-determination (e.g. cultural and economic).                   

 

Human rights are universal. So was it proclaimed by 56 members of the United Nations, on December 10, 1948, as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and then more resoundingly so, on June 25, 1993 at the World Conference on Human Rights when representatives of 171 States affirmed their commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by consensually adopting the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.         

As human rights advocates and activists in the U.S., we have unequivocally championed universal rights and equality, grounding our arguments in the principles laid out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Very specifically, each and every Article of the UDHR and the Preamble emphasizes the equality and inclusivity of both rights and rights-holders. Consistent with the principles stated in the UDHR, the emphasis of most American social movements advocating human rights has also been on equality and inclusivity. These include movements for racial equality (CORE); gender equality (NOW), and various movements for immigrants’ rights (La Raza; Dreamers; FLOC, NDLON, UFW), and the GLBT movement (Human Rights Campaign). Virtually all American movements (with the possible exception of separatist Black Panthers) have been committed to what we might call the “equality paradigm.” In other words the objective has been on fairness and equality, what American sociologist, Stanley Lieberson, referred to as having “a piece of the pie.

Make no mistake about it:  in the U.S and worldwide, human rights advocates and activists expound equality in a variety of forms, all of which relate to human rights and all of which can be derived from the principles laid out in the UDHR. In fact, to a great extent the United Nations System is organized in terms of equality, as laid out in detail in Article 25 (1). For example, Article 25 (1) encompasses the universal right to food, housing, health, and security. In turn, the right to food is mandated by Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO);  the universal right to housing by U.N. Habitat; the universal right to health by the World Health Organization (WHO); universal social and economic security by the ILO. Article 26 (1) states that education is a universal human right and that is the mandate of both UNICEF and UNESO. There are similar correspondences for other UN bodies: gender equality (UN Women), the coupling of development with human rights (UNDP), and the coupling of a healthy environment and human rights (UNEP).

I speculate that American human rights advocates and activists agree with their counterparts elsewhere that human rights are universal and they are so in the abstract sense laid out in the UDHR, and in specific ways elaborated in Articles 25 (1) and 26 (1), and pursued by various UN agencies or programs, as I have briefly described. However, in one other major respect human rights advocates and activists in the U.S. are different from their counterparts elsewhere, namely, we have shied away from the theoretical and practical implications of the right to self-determination. At least since 1776. That is, is it only the underdog — not yet an equal –that stakes out a claim for self-determination? Can you think of any bullies (on the contemporary world stage) that were former underdogs? (Sorry – that was a loaded question.)

Volume 8, Issue 3

3 February 2014

Societies Without Borders

Human Rights and the Social Sciences

Volume 8, Issue 3

Edited by David L. Brunsma, Keri E. Iyall Smith, and Mark Frezzo

Book Review Editor, Tugrul Keskin

Editorial Assistants Jennifer Sturman, Alessandra Tarantola,

and Heather Zellers

Articles

STEPHANIE K. DECKER & JOHN PAUL, WASHBURN UNIVERSITY

The Real Terrorist was Me: An Analysis of Narratives Told by Iraq Veterans Against the War in an Effort to Rehumanize Iraqi Civilians and Soldiers

CARLA DE YCAZA, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY & NICOLE FOX, BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY

Narratives of Mass Violence: The Role of Memory and Memorialization in Addressing Human Rights Violations in Post-Conflict Rwanda and Uganda

Notes from the Field

MEGHAN E. CONLEY, UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE

“I Now Pronounce You PoliMigra”: Narrative Resistance to Police-ICE Interoperability

KEITH KERR, QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY

Freedom with Chinese Characteristics

Book Reviews

David G. Embrick, Loyola University-Chicago

Review of White Party, White Government: Race, Class, and U.S. Politics by Joe R. Feagin

Silvia Giagnoni, AUBURN UNIVERSITY-MONTGOMERY

Review of Fair Trade from the Ground Up. New Markets for Social Justice by April Linton

Volume 8, Issue 2

23 September 2013

Societies Without Borders

Human Rights and the Social Sciences

Volume 8, Issue 2

Edited by David L. Brunsma, Keri E. Iyall Smith, and Mark Frezzo Book Review Editor, Tugrul Keskin
Editorial Assistant, Brian Gresham

Articles

MAHMOUD “MAX” KASHEFI, EASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY

The “Arab Spring” and its Theoretical Significance: Samuel Huntington’s Theory, “The Clash of Civilizations,” Revisited

SEAN CHABOT & MAJID SHARIFI, EASTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

The Violence of Nonviolence: Problematizing Nonviolent Resistance in Iran and Egypt

STEVEN L. ARXER, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS— DALLAS

Constructing Gendered NGO Selves: Utilizing Identity Work to Assess NGO Gender Advocacy and Politics

Notes From the Field

DEEB PAUL KITCHEN II, FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY

A Critical View of Graduate Unions

PABLO LAPEGNA, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

The Expansion of Transgenic Soybeans and the Killing of Indigenous Peasants in Argentina

Book Reviews

JOELLEN PEDERSON, FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
Review of Immigration, Labor, and the Politics of Belonging in France by Elaine Thomas

NATHANIEL A. DAVIS
Review of Immigration Nation: Raids, Detentions, Deportations in Post- 9/11 America by Tanya Maria Golash-Boza

Call for Papers

9 July 2013

Special Issue on “Gender and Human Rights”

The editors of Societies Without Borders: Human Rights and the Social Sciences (SWB)—a double-blind, peer-reviewed, open-source electronic journal devoted to cutting-edge research on human rights and public goods— together with the Center for Women’s Health and Human Rights at Suffolk University invite authors to submit manuscripts for a special issue on “Gender and Human Rights.”

The study of “Gender and Human Rights” dovetails with many key issues in the field of human rights, yet it is also distinctive and thus deserves particular attention.  With this special issue we invite submissions that examine both major and emerging issues in “Gender and Human Rights.”  This topic will also allow Societies Without Borders to utilize its strengths as a space for research from within the academy or by practitioners in the field.

The special issue seeks papers, commentaries, notes from the field, as well as poetic, visual, and other expressions devoted to examining gender and human rights.  This special issue will be released in March 2014 to celebrate the 58th Session of UN Commission on the Status of Women.

Any and all inquiries into gender and human rights in the social sciences are welcome.  Some questions for consideration include:

  • Millennium Development Goals for women and girls
  • Access and participation of women and girls to education
  • Access and participation of women and girls to science and technology
  • Women’s equal access to full employment and decent work
  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
  • The Beijing Declaration
  • Women and the Environment
  • Women, Peace, and Security
  • Men’s and boys’ roles in promoting the human rights of women and girls
  • Women’s health and human rights
  • Theorizing human rights from women’s point of view
  • Teaching in gender and human rights
  • Advocacy in gender and human rights
  • Feminists and human rights
  • Gender, vulnerability and human rights
  • Gender and dignity
  • War crimes, gender, and human rights
  • Gender, protest, and human rights

The deadline for submissions is November 1, 2013.

Inquiries may be sent to Keri E. Iyall Smith.

For SWB submission guidelines read more.

Please submit manuscripts as e-mail attachments to the co-editors.

Submissions will be subject to the regular review process of SWB.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 410 other followers