Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Human Rights in the United States
Beyond Exceptionalism


Dorothy Q. Thomas, Kathryn Libal, Shareen Hertel, Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, Mimi Abramovitz, Cathy Albisa, Risa Kaufman, Sally Engle Merry, Jessica Shimmin, Jonathan Todres, Jean Connolly Carmalt, Sarah Zaidi, Alicia Ely Yamin, Joanne Bauer, Michael Ashley Stein, Janet E. Lord, Bethany R. Berger, Ken Neubeck, Mie Lewis, Julie Mertus, Davida Finger, Rachel E. Luft
View all contributors
  • Date Published: June 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107008465

£ 67.00

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • This book brings to light emerging evidence of a shift toward a fuller engagement with international human rights norms and their application to domestic policy dilemmas in the United States. The volume offers a rich history, spanning close to three centuries, of the marginalization of human rights discourse in the United States. Contributors analyze cases of US human rights advocacy aimed at addressing persistent inequalities within the United States itself, including advocacy on the rights of persons with disabilities; indigenous peoples; lone mother-headed families; incarcerated persons; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people; and those displaced by natural disasters. It also explores key arenas in which legal scholars, policy practitioners and grassroots activists are challenging multiple divides between 'public' and 'private' spheres (for example, in connection with children's rights and domestic violence) and between 'public' and 'private' sectors (specifically, in relation to healthcare and business and human rights).

    • This book reviews major US case law on discrimination, linking it to international human rights scholarship and law
    • It includes both solid historical analysis of human rights violations in the USA and cutting-edge accounts of contemporary activism
    • The contributors are a high-profile group of interdisciplinary academics and activists, including pioneers in the field of human rights in the USA
    Read more

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2011
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107008465
    • length: 394 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.75kg
    • contains: 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Foreword: are Americans human? Reflections on the future of progressive politics in the United States Dorothy Q. Thomas
    1. Paradoxes and possibilities: domestic human rights policy in context Kathryn Libal and Shareen Hertel
    Part I. Structuring Debates, Institutionalizing Rights:
    2. The yellow sweatshirt: human dignity and economic human rights in advanced industrialized democracies Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann
    3. The welfare state: a battleground for human rights Mimi Abramovitz
    4. Drawing lines in the sand: building economic and social rights in the United States Cathy Albisa
    5. State and local commissions as sites for domestic human rights implementation Risa Kaufman
    Part II. Challenging Public/Private Divides:
    6. The curious resistance to seeing domestic violence as a human rights violation in the United States Sally Engle Merry and Jessica Shimmin
    7. At the crossroads: children's rights and the US government Jonathan Todres
    8. Entrenched inequity: healthcare in the United States Jean Connolly Carmalt, Sarah Zaidi and Alicia Ely Yamin
    9. Business and human rights: a new approach to advancing environmental justice in the United States Joanne Bauer
    Part III. From the Margins to the Center: Making Harms Visible through Human Rights Framing:
    10. The law and politics of US participation in the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities Michael Ashley Stein and Janet E. Lord
    11. The anomaly of citizenship for indigenous rights Bethany R. Berger
    12. Human rights violations as obstacles to escaping poverty: the case of lone mother-headed families Ken Neubeck
    13. The human rights of children in conflict with the law: lessons for the US human rights movement Mie Lewis
    14. LGBT rights as human rights in the United States: opportunities lost Julie Mertus
    15. No shelter: disaster politics in Louisiana and the struggle for human rights Davida Finger and Rachel E. Luft.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Health and Human Rights
    • Human Rights & International Law
    • Human Rights Law and the US
    • Human Rights in the United Nations
    • Rights & Politics
    • The Law and Politics of International Human Rights
  • Editors

    Shareen Hertel, University of Connecticut
    Shareen Hertel is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut and holds a joint appointment with the university's Human Rights Institute. She has served as a consultant to foundations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and United Nations agencies in the United States, Latin America and South Asia. She is the author of Unexpected Power: Conflict and Change Among Transnational Activists (2006), co-editor of Economic Rights: Conceptual, Measurement, and Policy Issues (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and has published numerous scholarly articles. Hertel is incoming editor of The Journal of Human Rights and serves on the editorial boards of Human Rights Review, Human Rights and Human Welfare, and the International Studies Intensives book series of Paradigm Publishers.

    Kathryn Libal, University of Connecticut
    Dr Kathryn Libal is an Assistant Professor of Community Organization in the School of Social Work at the University of Connecticut. She has written on child welfare, children's rights and the state in Turkey. Libal is currently writing on international NGO advocacy for Iraqi forced migrants and on failures of the US welfare state to fulfil the economic human rights of children. Her research has been published in the Human Rights Review, Social Work, Violence against Women, the Journal for Middle East Women's Studies and a number of edited volumes on human rights, social welfare, international social work and anthropology.


    Dorothy Q. Thomas, Kathryn Libal, Shareen Hertel, Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, Mimi Abramovitz, Cathy Albisa, Risa Kaufman, Sally Engle Merry, Jessica Shimmin, Jonathan Todres, Jean Connolly Carmalt, Sarah Zaidi, Alicia Ely Yamin, Joanne Bauer, Michael Ashley Stein, Janet E. Lord, Bethany R. Berger, Ken Neubeck, Mie Lewis, Julie Mertus, Davida Finger, Rachel E. Luft

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.