Human Rights, Human Wrongs: The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 2001
Nicholas J. Owen, University Lecturer in Politics and Fellow Nicholas Owen
Oxford University Press, 2003 - 358 pages
This edited collection, based on the 2001 Oxford Amnesty Lectures, focuses on human rights abuses and the way in which these are interpreted. The contributors are Tzvetan Todorov, Michael Ignatieff, Gayatri Spivak, Peter Singer, Gitta Sereny, Geoffrey Bindman, Susan Sontag, and Eva Hoffman,with commentaries on their essays from Niall Fergusson, Timothy Garton Ash, Hermione Lee, and others. The issues explored in the talks include the right of the international community to military intervention in human rights abuses, the ethical and legal difficulties in bringing rights abusers tojustice, the human tendency towards racist attitudes, the impact of postcolonialism, and the way in which human evil is represented in photography. A main theme throughout explores the implications of constructing crude dichotomies of heroes and villains, whose motivations are often leftunexplored. The aim is to do justice to the moral complexity of the situations into which those caught up in violent or destabilizing events are placed, while retaining a commitment to action as well as understanding in support of human rights.
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