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After Abu Ghraib
Exploring Human Rights in America and the Middle East


Part of Cambridge Studies in Law and Society

  • Date Published: May 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107401488

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About the Authors
  • This book traverses three pivotal human rights struggles of the post-September 11th era: the American human rights campaign to challenge the Bush administration's 'War on Terror' torture and detention policies, Middle Eastern efforts to challenge American human rights practices (reversing the traditional West to East flow of human rights mobilizations and discourses) and Middle Eastern attempts to challenge their own leaders' human rights violations in light of American interventions. This book presents snapshots of human rights being appropriated, promoted, claimed, reclaimed and contested within and between the American and Middle Eastern contexts. The inquiry has three facets: first, it explores intersections between human rights norms and power as they unfold in the era. Second, it lays out the layers of the era's American and Middle Eastern encounter on the human rights plane. Finally, it draws out the era's key lessons for moving the human rights project forward.

    • Places American and Middle Eastern experiences with human rights after September 11th side by side
    • Brings out both the human rights projects' failings and renewed promise during the era; it includes the era's lessons for moving the human rights project forward
    • Interdisciplinary approach and methodology (combining critical human rights/legal theory and constructivist theory from international relations)
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Mokhtari's comparative study of human rights in the US and Middle East is very original. She has conducted empirical research in Jordan and Yemen and writes about the subject with intimate knowledge … This interesting, critical book is a refreshing contribution to the literature: it can be used in undergraduate courses and in courses at law schools that deal with human rights, but it can also be enjoyed by general readers.' A. AbuKhalil, Choice

    'Shadi Mokhtari's After Abu Ghraib is original and conceptually incisive in its argument that much-publicized U.S. violations of human rights - epitomized by Abu Ghraib - have helped stimulate a healthier human rights discourse in both the Middle East and, to a lesser degree, the United States … Mokhtari uses her field research and theoretical grounding to move us beyond some cliched debates in human rights, advance a critique of U.S. insularity even among human rights defenders, and open our eyes to key trends in the Middle East. This is an impressive achievement.' H-Review Digest

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107401488
    • length: 274 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.37kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. American imaginings of human rights and the Middle East
    2. The human rights challenge from within
    3. The Middle Eastern gaze on American human rights commitments
    4. American imprints and the Middle East's new human rights landscape
    5. From the ashes of the post-September 11th era: lessons for the human rights project.

  • Author

    Shadi Mokhtari
    Shadi Mokhtari is Assistant Professor at the School of International Service at American University. She currently works with a domestic violence nonprofit organization in the Washington DC area and serves as the managing editor of the Muslim World Journal of Human Rights. She holds PhD and LLM degrees from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University; a JD from the University of Texas School of Law; a master's in international affairs from Columbia University; and a BA from American University. She has taught as an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and has contributed chapters to books, including Islamic Law and International Law ('The Iranian Search for Human Rights within an Islamic Framework') (2007), Islamic Feminism and the Law ('Towards a New Agenda for Islamic Feminism:Clearing the Human Rights Minefield') (2008), and Migrant Women's Search for Social Justice ('Migrant Women's Interests and the Case of Shari'a Tribunals in Ontario') (2009). In 2006, she was selected as a 'new voices' panelist at the American Association of International Law Conference and was awarded honorable mention for the John Peter Humphreys Fellowship from the Canadian Council on International Law.

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