Congratulations to Samera Esmeir, Humanity editorial board member, on the publication of her new book, Juridical Humanity: A Colonial History (Stanford University Press). Here's the publisher's description:
If you pass through Belgium this fall, stop by "Newtopia: The State of Human Rights," an ambitious new art exhibition staged by Katerina Gregos and others. (Here's an interview with Gregos.) Along with Ariella Azoulay, Stéphane Hessel, and Elena Sorokina, I've offerd a short text for the catalogue.
Congratulations to Humanity editoral collective member Nehal Bhuta on his appointment as Professor of International Law at the European University Institute in Florence.
On Lawfare.org last week I posted a review of Mary Dudziak's interesting new book War Time, dwelling on the American mythology of endless war. Dudziak offered her own reflections in response.
The New York Times saw fit to grace its "Sunday Review" section this weekend with our editorial board member's Faisal Devji's excellent essay on the poety of Muslim radicalism, as well as my own piece on human rights. Thanks!
My new piece in The Nation reviews two new books on the subject.
I’ve abstained from commenting on Beth Simmons’s early chapter about the history of human rights. It is not so much that, in my obviously self-interested view as a contributor to that field, her chapter is often uncritical and occasionally unsubstantiated (in its frequent repetition of the commonplace but dubious notion that the Holocaust prompted human rights law for instance). Rather, Simmons’s history of the origins of human rights doesn’t matter to her argument.
Domestic politics, then. This interim post explores how Beth Simmons thinks the interface between international treaties and domestic forces works. When she turns to the domestic forum, Simmons lays out a tripartite structure for how domestic actors can make use of the new tool of international treaties – at any rate, more than they could make of the hazy moral norms of natural law, or their clarification in written form in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.
Beth Simmons’s Mobilizing for Human Rights: International Law in Domestic Politics (Cambridge, 2009) has been celebrated as the most significant work in the field in many years. And the reception of the book is generally well deserved. As most people know, Simmons brings extraordinary quantitative rigor to the topic of whether several human rights treaties make a difference.
Editorial collective member Miriam Ticktin has just published her book, Casualties of Care: Immigration and the Politics of Humanitarianism in France with University of California Press. Congratulations! Here is the book description: