Human Rights Regimes in the Americas

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Human Rights Regimes in the Americas examines the complex role of human rights norms and standards in the region’s progression, illustrating the evolution and impact of international conventions, laws and institutions. The chapters combine historical detail with a focus on presentday challenges for the regional and domestic human rights regimes, highlighting particular obstacles, successful approaches and strategies. Taking the reader through cases in North, Central and South America, the volume provides a rich account of the evolving regional environment for rights protection and promotion, which will be of particular interest to scholars of politics, human rights and law, as well as policymakers and practitioners at all levels.



Why the human rights regime in the Americas matters

The hugely increased normative ambitions of international society are nowhere more visible than in the field of human rights and democracy – in the idea that the relationship between ruler and ruled, state and citizen, should be a subject of legitimate international concern; that the illtreatment of citizens and the absence of democratic governance should trigger international action; and that the external legitimacy of a state should depend increasingly on how domestic societies are ordered politically. The Americas provide a particularly important regional vantage point from which to analyse these developments. In part this is because legal and institutional changes have gone further in the Americas than in any other part of the world except Europe. In part its interest lies in the range of the challenges and problems faced by the regime and what these can suggest in terms of comparative experience.


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