The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change

  • Citation: Risse, Thomas, Stephen C. Ropp and Kathryn Sikkink. The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
    • Topics:
    • Human Rights
    • Keywords:
    • Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    • domestic practices
    • Northern Africa
    • Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Southeast Asia
    • Latin America
    • Eastern Europe

This book celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by showing how global human rights norms have influenced national government practices in eleven different countries around the world. Had the principles articulated in the Declaration had any effect on the behavior of states towards their citizens? What are the conditions under which international human rights norms are internalized in domestic practices? And what can we learn from this case about why, how, and under what conditions international norms in general influence the actions of states? This book draws on the work of social constructivists to examine these important issues. The contributors examine eleven countries representing five different world regions – Northern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe – drawing practical lessons for activists and policy makers concerned with preserving and extending the human rights gains made during the past fifty years.

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