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 Human Rights


Anderson, Carol. Eyes off the Prize: The United Nations and the African American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955. Cambridge, UK ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

Ausderan, Jacob. “How Naming and Shaming Affects Human Rights Perceptions in the Shamed Country.” Journal of Peace Research 51, no. 1 (2014): 81–95.

Azoulay, Ariella. “Palestine as Symptom, Palestine as Hope: Revising Human Rights Discourse.” Critical Inquiry 40, no. 4 (2014): 332–64.

Barnett, Michael. Empire of Humanity. Cornell University Press, 2011.

Becker, Jo. Campaigning for Justice: Human Rights Advocacy in Practice. Redwood City: Stanford University Press, 2012.

Breuer, Martin. “Exploring the Technical Assistance Activities of the International Labor Organization in the Field of Indigenous Peoples: Development and Human Rights in the Andean Indian Program (1954-1968).” FIAR: Forum for Inter-American Research 11, no. 3 (December 2018): 110–23.

Brucken, Rowland. A Most Uncertain Crusade: The United States, the United Nations, and Human Rights, 1941-1953. Northern Illinois University Press, 2013.

Burgers, Jan Herman. “The Road to San Francisco: The Revival of the Human Rights Idea in the Twentieth Century.” Human Rights Quarterly 14, no. 4 (1992): 447–77.

Burke, Roland. Decolonization and the Evolution of International Human Rights. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010.

Burke, Roland. “From Individual Rights to National Development: The First UN International Conference on Human Rights, Tehran, 1968.” Journal of World History 19, no. 3 (2008): 275–96.

Burke, Roland. “‘How Time Flies’: Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the 1960s.” The International History Review 38, no. 3 (May 26, 2016): 394–420.

Burke, Roland. “Premature Memorials to the United Nations Human Rights Program: International Postage Stamps and the Commemoration of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” History and Memory 28, no. 2 (2016): 152–81.

Burke, Roland. “Some Rights Are More Equal than Others: The Third World and the Transformation of Economic and Social Rights.” Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development 3, no. 3 (October 31, 2012): 427–48.

Burke, Roland. “The Rites of Human Rights at the United Nations.” Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development 9, no. 1 (March 15, 2018): 127–42.

Chow, Jonathan T. “North Korea’s Participation in the Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights.” Australian Journal of International Affairs 71, no. 2 (March 4, 2017): 146–63.

Clark, Ann Marie. Diplomacy of Conscience: Amnesty International and Changing Human Rights Norms. Princeton University Press, 2010.

Claude, Richard Pierre, and Burns H. Weston, eds. Human Rights in the World Community: Issues and Action. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992.

Cmiel, Kenneth. “The Recent History of Human Rights.” The American Historical Review 109, no. 1 (2004): 117–35.

Cushman, Thomas. Handbook of Human Rights, 2012.

Douzinas, Costas. The End of Human Rights: Critical Legal Thought at the Turn of the Century. Oxford; Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2000.

Dunne, Tim, and Nicholas J. Wheeler, eds. Human Rights in Global Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Eckel, Jan. “The International League for the Rights of Man, Amnesty International, and the Changing Fate of Human Rights Activism from the 1940s through the 1970s.” Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development 4, no. 2 (August 7, 2013): 183–214.

Eckel, Jan, and Samuel Moyn. The Breakthrough: Human Rights in the 1970s. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013.

Farer, Tom, and Felice Gaer. “The UN and Human Rights: At the End of the Beginning.” In United Nations, Divided World: The UN’s Roles in International Relations, by Robert Roberts and Benedict Kingsbury, 240–96. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993.

Feldman, Ilana. “The Humanitarian Condition: Palestinian Refugees and the Politics of Living.” Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development 3, no. 2 (May 26, 2012): 155–72.

Freedman, Rosa. The United Nations Human Rights Council: A Critique and Early Assessment. London: Routledge, 2013.

Friedman, Lawrence M. The Human Rights Culture: A Study in History and Context. New Orleans: Quid Pro, 2011.

Gallen, James. “Between Rhetoric and Reality: Ten Years of the United Nations Human Rights Council.” Irish Studies in International Affairs 27 (2016): 125–43.

Gatrell, Peter. Free World? The Campaign to Save the World’s Refugees, 1956-63. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Genser, Jared, and Bruno Stagno Ugarte, eds. The United Nations Security Council in the Age of Human Rights. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Glendon, Mary Ann. A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 1st ed. New York: Random House, 2001.

Goodale, Mark. “UNESCO and the United Nations Rights of Man Declaration: History, Historiography, Ideology.” Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development 8, no. 1 (March 17, 2017): 29–47.

H. Liu, Lydia. “Shadows of Universalism: The Untold Story of Human Rights around 1948.” Critical Inquiry 40, no. 4 (2014): 385–417.

Helton, Arthur C. The Price of Indifference: Refugees and Humanitarian Action in the New Century. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Hoffmann, Stefan-Ludwig, ed. Human Rights in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Hunt, Lynn. Inventing Human Rights: A History. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2008.

Iriye, Akira, Petra Goedde, and William I. Hitchcock, eds. The Human Rights Revolution: An International History. Reinterpreting History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

James, Stephen Andrew. Universal Human Rights: Origins and Development. New York: LFB Scholarly Pub., 2007.

Janco, Andrew Paul. “‘Unwilling’: The One-Word Revolution in Refugee Status, 1940-51.” Contemporary European History 23, no. 3 (August 2014): 429–46.

Jensen, Steven L. B. The Making of International Human Rights: The 1960s, Decolonization, and the Reconstruction of Global Values, 2016.

Jina Choi, and Brendan Howe. “United Nations Contributions to Promoting Human Rights in the DPRK: Impetus for Change.” Asian International Studies Review 19, no. 2 (December 2018): 115–37.

Jordaan, Eduard. “South Africa and Sexual Orientation Rights at the United Nations: Batting for Both Sides.” Politikon 44, no. 2 (May 4, 2017): 205–30.

Jordaan, Eduard. “The African Group on the United Nations Human Rights Council: Shifting Geopolitics and the Liberal International Order.” African Affairs 115, no. 460 (July 1, 2016): 490–515.

Klose, Fabian, and Dona Geyer. Human Rights in the Shadow of Colonial Violence: The Wars of Independence in Kenya and Algeria. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013.

Lauren, Paul Gordon. The Evolution of International Human Rights: Visions Seen. 2nd ed. Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003.

Mayers, David. “Humanity in 1948: The Genocide Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Diplomacy & Statecraft 26, no. 3 (July 3, 2015): 446–72.

Mazower, Mark. No Enchanted Palace: The End of Empire and the Ideological Origins of the United Nations. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 2009.

Mcguinness, Margaret E. “Peace v. Justice: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Modern Origins of the Debate*.” Diplomatic History 35, no. 5 (2011): 749–68.

Meister, Robert. After Evil: A Politics of Human Rights. Columbia Studies in Political Thought/Political History. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011.

Morsink, Johannes. Inherent Human Rights: Philosophical Roots of the Universal Declaration. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.

Morsink, Johannes. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Origins, Drafting, and Intent. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000.

Moyn, Samuel. The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010.

Moyn, Samuel. “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 in the History of Cosmopolitanism.” Critical Inquiry 40, no. 4 (2014): 365–84.

Moyn, Samuel. Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press, 2018.

Newman, Frank C., and David S. Weissbrodt. International Human Rights: Law, Policy, and Process. Cincinnati: Anderson Pub. Co, 1990.

Normand, Roger, and Sarah Zaidi. Human Rights at the UN: The Political History of Universal Justice. Indiana University Press, 2008.

Paulmann, Johannes. “Conjunctures in the History of International Humanitarian Aid during the Twentieth Century.” Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development 4, no. 2 (August 7, 2013): 215–38.

Pendas, Devin O. “Toward a New Politics? On the Recent Historiography of Human Rights.” Contemporary European History 21, no. 1 (February 2012): 95–111.

Piccone, Theodore J. Catalysts for Change: How the UN’s Independent Experts Promote Human Rights. Washington, D.C: Brookings Institution Press, 2012.

Quataert, Jean. Advocating Dignity: Human Rights Mobilizations in Global Politics. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.

Risse, Thomas, Stephen C. Ropp, and Kathryn Sikkink, eds. The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Roberts, Adam, and Benedict Kingsbury, eds. United Nations, Divided World: The UN’s Roles in International Relations. 2nd ed. Oxford: New York: Clarendon Press ; Oxford University Press, 1993.

Russo, Giusi. “Contested Practices, Human Rights, and Colonial Bodies in Pain: The UN’s Gender Politics in Africa, 1940s–1960s.” Gender & History 30, no. 1 (2018): 196–213.

Sachleben, Mark. Human Rights Treaties: Considering Patterns of Participation, 1948-2000. Studies in International Relations. New York: Routledge, 2006.

Simpson, Bradley R. “Self-Determination, Human Rights, and the End of Empire in the 1970s.” Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development 4, no. 2 (August 7, 2013): 239–60.

Sluga, Glenda. “Spectacular Feminism: The International History of Women, World Citizenship and Human Rights.” In Women’s Activism: Global Perspectives from the 1890s to the Present, by Francisca de Haan, Margaret Allen, June Purvis, and Krassimira Daskalova, 44–58. London: Routledge, 2012.

Terretta, Meredith. “Anti-Colonial Lawyering, Postwar Human Rights, and Decolonization across Imperial Boundaries in Africa.” Canadian Journal of History 52, no. 3 (December 23, 2017): 448–78.

Terretta, Meredith. “‘We Had Been Fooled into Thinking That the UN Watches over the Entire World’: Human Rights, UN Trust Territories, and Africa’s Decolonization.” Human Rights Quarterly 34, no. 2 (2012): 329–60.

Tyagi, Yogesh. The UN Human Rights Committee: Practice and Procedure. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Weitz, Eric D. “The Human Rights Surges of the 1940s and 1990s: A Commentary on Margaret E. McGuinness and William A. Schabas.” Diplomatic History 35, no. 5 (November 1, 2011): 793–96.

Weizman, Eyal. The Least of All Possible Evils: Humanitarian Violence from Arendt to Gaza. London; New York: Verso, 2011.

Whelan, Daniel. Indivisible Human Rights: A History. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010.

Winter, Jay, and Antoine Prost. René Cassin and Human Rights: From the Great War to the Universal Declaration. Human Rights in History. Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Woo, Byungwon, and Amanda Murdie. “International Organizations and Naming and Shaming: Does the International Monetary Fund Care about the Human Rights Reputation of Its Client?” Political Studies 65, no. 4 (December 1, 2017): 767–85.


A Summary of UN Agreements on Human Rights

Human Security Centre
The Human Security Report Project (HSRP) is an independent research centre affiliated with Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver, Canada. Formerly located at the University of British Columbia and known as the Human Security Centre, the HSRP joined SFU in May of 2007

US Institute for Peace Task Force
USIP provides the analysis, training and tools that prevent and end conflicts, promotes stability and professionalizes the field of peace building.

American Association for the Advancement of Science Human Rights Program
An international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional association. In addition to organizing membership activities, AAAS publishes the journal Science, as well as many scientific newsletters, books and reports, and spearheads programs that raise the bar of understanding for science worldwide.

Amnesty International
Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 3 million supporters, members and activists in more than 150 countries and territories who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights.

Anti-Slavery International
Anti-Slavery International works at local, national and international levels to eliminate all forms of slavery around the world.

Business for Social Responsibility
BSR works with its global network of more than 250 member companies to develop sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration.

Carnegie Council
The Carnegie Council is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, educational institution dedicated to increasing understanding of the relationship between ethics and international affairs. Watch, read, and listen to resources on three broad themes: ethics, war, and peace; global social justice; and religion in politics

The Carter Center
The Carter Center, in partnership with Emory University, is guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering; it seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health.

Center for Constitutional Rights
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

Center for Justice and Accountability
The Center for Justice and Accountability is an international human rights organization dedicated to deterring torture and other severe human rights abuses around the world and advancing the rights of survivors to seek truth, justice and redress. CJA uses litigation to hold perpetrators individually accountable for human rights abuses, develop human rights law, and advance the rule of law in countries transitioning from periods of abuse.

Center for Women's Global Leadership
The Center for Women's Global Leadership (CWGL) develops and facilitates women's leadership for women's human rights and social justice worldwide.

Committee to Protect Journalists
The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1981. We promote press freedom worldwide by defending the rights of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal.

Fair Labor Association
Incorporated in 1999, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) is a collaborative effort of socially responsible companies, colleges and universities, and civil society organizations to improve working conditions in factories around the world. The FLA has developed a Workplace Code of Conduct, based on ILO standards, and created a practical monitoring, remediation and verification process to achieve those standards. 

Freedom House
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports the expansion of freedom around the world. Freedom House supports democratic change, monitors freedom, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

Human Rights First (formerly Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights)
Human Rights First is a non-profit, nonpartisan international human rights organization based in New York and Washington D.C.

Human Rights Quarterly
Now entering its twenty-fifth year, Human Rights Quarterly is widely recognized as the leader in the field of human rights. The Quarterly provides up-to-date information on important developments within the United Nations and regional human rights organizations, both governmental and non-governmental. It presents current work in human rights research and policy analysis, reviews of related books, and philosophical essays probing the fundamental nature of human rights as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. By providing decision makers with insight into complex human rights issues, the Quarterly helps to define national and international human rights policy.

Human Rights Watch
By focusing international attention where human rights are violated, we give voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes. Our rigorous, objective investigations and strategic, targeted advocacy build intense pressure for action and raise the cost of human rights abuse. For more than 30 years, Human Rights Watch has worked tenaciously to lay the legal and moral groundwork for deep-rooted change and has fought to bring greater justice and security to people around the world.

Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems International (HURIDOCS)
URIDOCS is an international NGO helping human rights organization use information technologies and documentation methods to maximize the impact of their advocacy work. We develop tools and techniques, and provide advocates with customized training and support. HURIDOCS is also an informal, open and decentralized network of human rights organizations that wish to put together their experiences and creativity to develop common standards and tools for information management. Membership is open to all.

HURISEARCH is a new search engine provided by HURIDOCS
The Human Rights search engine - search over 5000 human rights web sites

The International Commission of Jurists
The International Commission of Jurists is dedicated to the primacy, coherence and implementation of international law and principles that advance human rights. What distinguishes the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) is its impartial, objective and authoritative legal approach to the protection and promotion of human rights through the rule of law implemented at the national level.

International Committee of the Red Cross
The ICRC, established in 1863, works worldwide to provide humanitarian help for people affected by conflict and armed violence and to promote the laws that protect victims of war. An independent and neutral organization, its mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, it employs some 12,000 people in 80 countries; it is financed mainly by voluntary donations from governments and from national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies.

International Court of Justice
The primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands. Its main functions are to settle legal disputes submitted to it by states and to provide advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by duly authorized international organs, agencies, and the UN General Assembly.

International Helsinki Federation
International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights Forced to Close Down. IHF was forced to file for bankruptcy and consequently close down due to a massive fraud committed by its former financial manager.

International Labour Organisation
The ILO is the international organization responsible for drawing up and overseeing international labour standards. It is the only 'tripartite' United Nations agency that brings together representatives of governments, employers and workers to jointly shape policies and programmes promoting Decent Work for all. This unique arrangement gives the ILO an edge in incorporating 'real world' knowledge about employment and work.

The Internet Bibliography on Transitional Justice

Physicians for Human Rights
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an independent organization that uses the integrity of medicine and science to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations against individual

USA Watch
The USA Watch Website contains links to reports and news on human rights violations in and by the United States.
University of Minnesota Human Rights Library (an especially important site, including its Section on Islam and Human Rights)

Washington Office on Latin America
WOLA envisions a future where human rights and social justice are the foundation for public policy in Latin America and the Caribbean and in the U.S. relationship with the region; where change happens when people on-the-ground connect with people who make policy, and where people work together across borders to respect human rights and democratic values.



This interdisciplinary journal publishes on myriad aspects of human rights and humanitarianism.

Displacement Activity
This blog, run by Jared Manasek, focuses on the history and historiography of forced migration, humanitarianism, and human rights. It provides information on calls for papers, recently published articles, fellowships, and is aimed at those interested in refugee and humanitarian activity.

Humanitarianism and Human Rights: Research on the Entangled History of Humanitarianism and Human Rights.
This blog, run by Fabian Klose and Johannes Paulmann at the Leibniz Institute of European History, seeks to bring together scholars working on the history of humanitarianism and human rights.

Non-state Humanitarianism network.
This network combines research by academics and the humanitarian sector to understand the history of non-state humanitarianism, to strengthen ties between academics and practitioners, and to consider how the history of humanitarian aid might help contemporary challenges and projects.

Archives Watch collects materials on refugee studies and human rights in the archive. It also posts calls for papers and contributions to special issues and edited volumes. It is run by Paul Dudman, the archivist in charge of the Refugee Council Archive held at the University of East London.

The Reluctant Internationalists. A History of Public Health and International Organisations, Movements and Experts in Twentieth Century Europe
Run by Dr. Jessica Reinisch at Birkbeck College, University of London, this project explores the history of international collaboration and exchanges of ideas between medical professionals, politicians, generals, diplomats, and policy-makers in Europe during the twentieth century.