Patricia Williams is a lawyer and a professor of commercial law, the great-great-granddaughter of a slave and a white southern lawyer. The Alchemy of Race and Rights is an eloquent autobiographical essay in which the author reflects on the intersection of race, gender, and class. Using the tools of critical literary and legal theory, she sets out her views of contemporary popular culture and current events, from Howard Beach to homelessness, from Tawana Brawley to the law-school classroom, from civil rights to Oprah Winfrey, from Bernhard Goetz to Mary Beth Whitehead. She also traces the workings of “ordinary racism”—everyday occurrences, casual, unintended, banal perhaps, but mortifying. Taking up the metaphor of alchemy, Williams casts the law as a mythological text in which the powers of commerce and the Constitution, wealth and poverty, sanity and insanity, wage war across complex and overlapping boundaries of discourse. In deliberately transgressing such boundaries, she pursues a path toward racial justice that is, ultimately, transformative.
Williams gets to the roots of racism not by finger-pointing but by much gentler methods. Her book is full of anecdote and witness, vivid characters known and observed, trenchant analysis of the law’s shortcomings. Only by such an inquiry and such patient phenomenology can we understand racism. The book is deeply moving and not so, finally, just because racism is wrong—we all know that. What we don’t know is how to unthink the process that allows racism to persist. This Williams enables us to see. The result is a testament of considerable beauty, a triumph of moral tactfulness. The result, as the title suggests, is magic.
Under a provision in the Brazilian constitution, rural black communities identified as the modern descendants of quilombos—runaway slave communities—are promised land rights as a form of reparations for the historic exclusion of blacks from land ownership. The quilombo provision has been hailed as a success for black rights; however, rights for quilombolas are highly controversial and, in many cases, have led to violent land conflicts. Although thousands of rural black communities have been legally recognized, only a handful have received the rights they were promised. Conflict over quilombola rights is widespread and carries important consequences for race relations and political representations of blackness in twenty-first century Brazil.
Drawing on a year of field research in a quilombola community, Elizabeth Farfán-Santos explores how quilombo recognition has significantly affected the everyday lives of those who experience the often-complicated political process. Questions of identity, race, and entitlement play out against a community’s struggle to prove its historical authenticity—and to gain the land and rights they need to survive. This work not only demonstrates the lived experience of a new, particular form of blackness in Brazil, but also shows how blackness is being mobilized and reimagined to gain social rights and political recognition. Black Bodies, Black Rights thus represents an important contribution to the rapidly growing interdisciplinary field of Afro-Latino studies.
Constitutional History of the American Revolution
Volume I: The Authority of Rights
Volume II: The Authority to Tax
Volume III: The Authority to Legislate
Volume IV: The Authority of Law
John Phillip Reid addresses the central constitutional issues that divided the American colonists from their English legislators: the authority to tax, the authority to legislate, the security of rights, the nature of law, the foundation of constitutional government in custom and contractarian theory, and the search for a constitutional settlement.
Contributors. Jane Atkinson, Don Brenneis, Stephanie Fried, Nancy Peluso, Marina Roseman, Anna Tsing, Charles Zerner
Long before the Supreme Court ruled that impoverished defendants in criminal cases have a right to free counsel, Philadelphia’s public defenders were working to ensure fair trials for all. In 1934, when penniless defendants were routinely railroaded through the courts without ever seeing a lawyer, Philadelphia attorney Francis Fisher Kane helped create the Voluntary Defender Association, supported by charity and free from political interference, to represent poor people accused of crime.
When the Supreme Court’s 1963 decision Gideonv. Wainwright mandated free counsel for indigent defendants, the Defender (as it is now known) became more essential than ever, representing at least 70 percent of those caught in the machinery of justice in the city. Its groundbreaking work in juvenile advocacy, homicide representation, death-row habeas corpus petitions, parole issues, and alternative sentencing has earned a national reputation.
In The Defender, Edward Madeira, past president of the Defender’s Board of Directors, and former Philadelphia Inquirer journalist Michael Schaffer chart the 80-plus-year history of the organization as it grew from two lawyers in 1934 to a staff of nearly 500 in 2015.
This is a compelling story about securing justice for those who need it most.
Throughout human history people have been driven from their homes by wars, unjust treatment, earthquakes, and hurricanes. The reality of forced migration is not new, nor is awareness of the suffering of the displaced a recent discovery. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that at the end of 2007 there were 67 million persons in the world who had been forcibly displaced from their homes—including more than 16 million people who had to flee across an international border for fear of being persecuted due to race, religion, nationality, social group, or political opinion.
Driven from Home advances the discussion on how best to protect and assist the growing number of persons who have been forced from their homes and proposes a human rights framework to guide political and policy responses to forced migration. This thought-provoking volume brings together contributors from several disciplines, including international affairs, law, ethics, economics, and theology, to advocate for better responses to protect the global community’s most vulnerable citizens.
Conceiving indigenous rights as cultural rights, Engle argues, has largely displaced or deferred many of the economic and political issues that initially motivated much indigenous advocacy. She contends that by asserting static, essentialized notions of indigenous culture, indigenous rights advocates have often made concessions that threaten to exclude many claimants, force others into norms of cultural cohesion, and limit indigenous economic, political, and territorial autonomy.
Engle explores one use of the right to culture outside the context of indigenous rights, through a discussion of a 1993 Colombian law granting collective land title to certain Afro-descendant communities. Following the aspirations for and disappointments in this law, Engle cautions advocates for marginalized communities against learning the wrong lessons from the recent struggles of indigenous peoples at the international level.
Improvisation is the creation and development of new, unexpected, and productive cocreative relations among people. It cultivates the capacity to discern elements of possibility, potential, hope, and promise where none are readily apparent. Improvisers work with the tools they have in the arenas that are open to them. Proceeding without a written score or script, they collaborate to envision and enact something new, to enrich their experience in the world by acting on it and changing it. By analyzing the dynamics of particular artistic improvisations, mostly by contemporary American jazz musicians, the authors reveal improvisation as a viable and urgently needed model for social change. In the process, they rethink politics, music, and the connections between them.
To understand Alabama history one must appreciate the impact of the failure of secession of the state in the subsequent half century as well as the causes for the success of the Civil Rights Movement in the state in the mid-twentieth century. The prophet of the first revolution was William Lowndes Yancey and the prophet of the second was Martin Luther King, Jr., two Southerners who set in motion forces that shaped American history beyond the borders of the state and region. In the years between their two lives Alabama changed dramatically.
Justice and Rights is a record of the fifth "Building Bridges" seminar held in Washington, DC in 2006 (an annual symposium on Muslim-Christian relations cosponsored by Georgetown University and the Church of England). This volume examines justice and rights from Christian and Muslim perspectives—a topic of immense relevance for both faiths in the modern world, but also with deep roots in the core texts of both traditions.
Leading scholars examine three topics: scriptural foundations, featuring analyses of Christian and Muslim sacred texts; evolving traditions, exploring historical issues in both faiths with an emphasis on religious and political authority; and the modern world, analyzing recent and contemporary contributions from Christianity and Islam in the area of freedom and human rights.
For decades, Singapore's gay activists have sought equality and justice in a state where law is used to stifle basic civil and political liberties. In her groundbreaking book, Mobilizing Gay Singapore, Lynette Chua asks, what does a social movement look like in an authoritarian state? She takes an expansive view of the gay movement to examine its emergence, development, strategies, and tactics, as well as the roles of law and rights in social processes.
Chua tells this important story using in-depth interviews with gay activists, observations of the movement's activities-including "Pink Dot" events, where thousands of Singaporeans gather in annual celebrations of gay pride-movement documents, government statements, and media reports. She shows how activists deploy "pragmatic resistance" to gain visibility and support, tackle political norms that suppress dissent, and deal with police harassment, while avoiding direct confrontations with the law.
Mobilizing Gay Singapore also addresses how these brave, locally engaged citizens come out into the open as gay activists and expand and diversify their efforts in the global queer political movement.
“Curtis effectively settles a serious legal debate: whether the framers of the 14th Amendment intended to incorporate the Bill of Rights guarantees and thereby inhibit state action. Taking on a formidable array of constitutional scholars, . . . he rebuts their argument with vigor and effectiveness, conclusively demonstrating the legitimacy of the incorporation thesis. . . . A bold, forcefully argued, important study.”—Library Journal
When feminists argued for political rights in the context of liberal democracy they faced an impossible choice. On the one hand, they insisted that the differences between men and women were irrelevant for citizenship. On the other hand, by the fact that they acted on behalf of women, they introduced the very idea of difference they sought to eliminate. This paradox--the need both to accept and to refuse sexual difference in politics--was the constitutive condition of the long struggle by women to gain the right of citizenship. In this new book, remarkable in both its findings and its methodology, award-winning historian Joan Wallach Scott reads feminist history in terms of this paradox of sexual difference.
Focusing on four French feminist activists--Olympe de Gouges, who wrote the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and Citizen during the French Revolution; Jeanne Deroin, a utopian socialist and candidate for legislative office in 1848; Hubertine Auclert, the suffragist of the Third Republic; and Madeleine Pelletier, a psychiatrist in the early twentieth century who argued that women must "virilize" themselves in order to gain equality--Scott charts the repetitions and variations in feminist history. Again and again, feminists tried to prove they were individuals, according to the standards of individuality of their day. Again and again, they confronted the assumption that individuals were men. But when sexual difference was taken to be a fundamental difference, when only men were regarded as individuals and thus as citizens, how could women also be citizens? The imaginative and courageous answers feminists offered to these questions are the subject of this engaging book.
Many have argued in recent years that the U.S. constitutional system exalts individual rights over responsibilities, virtues, and the common good. Answering the charges against liberal theories of rights, James Fleming and Linda McClain develop and defend a civic liberalism that takes responsibilities and virtues—as well as rights—seriously. They provide an account of ordered liberty that protects basic liberties stringently, but not absolutely, and permits government to encourage responsibility and inculcate civic virtues without sacrificing personal autonomy to collective determination.
The battle over same-sex marriage is one of many current controversies the authors use to defend their understanding of the relationship among rights, responsibilities, and virtues. Against accusations that same-sex marriage severs the rights of marriage from responsible sexuality, procreation, and parenthood, they argue that same-sex couples seek the same rights, responsibilities, and goods of civil marriage that opposite-sex couples pursue. Securing their right to marry respects individual autonomy while also promoting moral goods and virtues. Other issues to which they apply their idea of civic liberalism include reproductive freedom, the proper roles and regulation of civil society and the family, the education of children, and clashes between First Amendment freedoms (of association and religion) and antidiscrimination law. Articulating common ground between liberalism and its critics, Fleming and McClain develop an account of responsibilities and virtues that appreciates the value of diversity in our morally pluralistic constitutional democracy.
Stuart A. Scheingold is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Washington.
An eye-opening examination of the ties between American gun culture and white male supremacy from the American Revolution to today.
One-third of American adults—approximately 86 million people—own firearms. This is not just for protection or hunting. Although many associate gun-centric ideology with individualist and libertarian traditions in American political culture, Race, Rights, and Rifles shows that it rests on an equally old but different foundation. Instead, Alexandra Frilindra shows that American gun culture can be traced back to the American Revolution when republican notions of civic duty were fused with a belief in white male supremacy and a commitment to maintaining racial and gender hierarchies.
Drawing on wide-ranging historical and contemporary evidence, Race, Rights, and Rifles traces how this ideology emerged during the Revolution and became embedded in America’s institutions, from state militias to the National Rifle Association (NRA). Utilizing original survey data, Filindra reveals how many White Americans —including those outside of the NRA’s direct orbit—embrace these beliefs, and as a result, they are more likely than other Americans to value gun rights over voting rights, embrace antidemocratic norms, and justify political violence.
In Race, Rights, and the Asian American Experience, Angelo N. Ancheta demonstrates how United States civil rights laws have been framed by a black-white model of race that typically ignores the experiences of other groups, including Asian Americans. When racial discourse is limited to antagonisms between black and white, Asian Americans often find themselves in a racial limbo, marginalized or unrecognized as full participants.
Ancheta examines legal and social theories of racial discrimination, ethnic differences in the Asian American population, nativism, citizenship, language, school desegregation, and affirmative action. In the second edition of this influential book, Ancheta also covers post–9/11 anti-Asian sentiment and racial profiling. He analyzes recent legal cases involving political empowerment, language rights, human trafficking, immigrant rights, and affirmative action in higher education—many of which move the country farther away from the ideals of racial justice. On a more positive note, he reports on the progress Asian Americans have made in the corporate sector, politics, the military, entertainment, and academia.A skillful mixture of legal theories, court cases, historical events, and personal insights, this second edition brings fresh insights to U.S. civil rights from an Asian American perspective.
The concept of a right is fundamental to moral, political, and legal thinking, but much of the use of that concept is selective and fragmentary: it is common merely to appeal to this or that intuitively plausible attribution of rights as needed for purposes of argument. In The Realm of Rights Judith Thomson provides a full-scale, systematic theory of human and social rights, bringing out what in general makes an attribution of a right true.
Thomson says that the question what it is to have a right precedes the question which rights we have, and she therefore begins by asking why our having rights is a morally significant fact about us. She argues that a person’s having a right is reducible to a complex moral constraint: central to that constraint is that, other things being equal, the right ought to be accorded. Thomson asks what those other things are that may or may not be equal, and describes the tradeoffs that relieve us of the requirement to accord a right.
Our rights fall into two classes, those we have by virtue of being human beings and those we have by virtue of private interactions and law. Thomson argues that the first class includes rights that others not kill or harm us, but does not include rights that others meet our needs. The second class includes rights that issue from promises and consent, and Thomson shows how they are generated; she also argues that property rights issue only from a legitimate legal system, so that the second class includes them as well.
The Realm of Rights will take its place as a major effort to provide a stable foundation for our deeply held belief that we are not mere cogs in a communal machine, but are instead individuals whose private interests are entitled to respect.
About Rights in the Digital Era:MODULE 4
Balancing Access and Privacy in Manuscript Collections
Menzi L. Behrnd-Klodt
Introduces basic access and privacy laws, concepts, definitions, and professional ethical standards affecting manuscript materials and private and family papers.
Balancing Access and Privacy in the Records of Organizations
Menzi L. Behrnd-Klodt
Introduces basic access and privacy laws, concepts, definitions, and professional ethical standards affecting the management of records created by organizations, businesses, agencies, and other entities.
Managing Rights and Permissions
Aprille C. McKay
Provides practical guidance to help archivists transfer, clear, manage, and track rights information in analog and digital archives.
About Trends in Archives Practice:
This open-ended series by the Society of American Archivists features brief, authoritative treatments—written and edited by top-level professionals—that fill significant gaps in archival literature. The goal of this modular approach is to build agile, user-centered resources. Modules treat discrete topics relating to the practical management of archives and manuscript collections in the digital age. Select modules are clustered together by topic (as they are here) and are available in print or electronic format. Each module also is available separately in electronic format so that readers can mix and match modules that best satisfy their needs and interests. Stay on trend with Trends in Archives Practice!
Educated, white collar professional women carried the most visible banners of feminism. But working class women were a powerful force in the campaign for gender equality. Dennis A. Deslippe explores how unionized wage-earning women led the struggle to place women's employment rights on the national agenda, decisively influencing both the contemporary labor movement and second-wave feminism.
Deslippe's account unravels a complex history of how labor leaders accommodated and resisted working women's demands for change. Through case studies of unions representing packinghouse and electrical workers, Deslippe explains why gender equality emerged as an issue in the 1960s and how the activities of wage-earning women in and outside of their unions shaped the content of the debate. He also traces the fault lines separating working-class women--who sought gender equality within the parameters of unionist principles such as seniority--from middle-class women--who sought an equal rights amendment that would guarantee an abstract equality for all women.
Thoughtful and detailed, "Rights, Not Roses" offers a new look at the complexities of working-class feminism.
Promoting Islam as a defender of human rights is laden with difficulties. Advocates of human rights will readily point out numerous humanitarian failures carried out in the name of Islam. In The Rights of God, Irene Oh looks at human rights and Islam as a religious issue rather than a political or legal one and draws on three revered Islamic scholars to offer a broad range of perspectives that challenge our assumptions about the role of religion in human rights.
The theoretical shift from the conception of morality based in natural duty and law to one of rights has created tensions that hinder a fruitful exchange between human rights theorists and religious thinkers. Does the static identification of human rights with lists of specific rights, such as those found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, make sense given the cultural, historical, and religious diversity of the societies in which these rights are to be respected and implemented? In examining human rights issues of the contemporary Islamic world, Oh illustrates how the value of religious scholarship cannot be overestimated.
Oh analyzes the commentaries of Abul A'la Maududi, Sayyid Qutb, and Abdolkarim Soroush—all prominent and often controversial Islamic thinkers—on the topics of political participation, religious toleration, and freedom of conscience. While Maududi and Qutb represent traditional Islam, and Soroush a more reform and Western-friendly approach, all three contend that Islam is indeed capable of accommodating and advocating human rights.
Whereas disentangling politics and culture from religion is never easy, Oh shows that the attempt must be made in order to understand and overcome the historical obstacles that prevent genuine dialogue from taking place across religious and cultural boundaries.
Charting the history of contemporary philosophical and religious beliefs regarding nature, Roderick Nash focuses primarily on changing attitudes toward nature in the United States. His work is the first comprehensive history of the concept that nature has rights and that American liberalism has, in effect, been extended to the nonhuman world.
“A splendid book. Roderick Nash has written another classic. This exploration of a new dimension in environmental ethics is both illuminating and overdue.”—Stewart Udall
“His account makes history ‘come alive.’”—Sierra
“So smoothly written that one almost does not notice the breadth of scholarship that went into this original and important work of environmental history.”—Philip Shabecoff, New York Times Book Review
“Clarifying and challenging, this is an essential text for deep ecologists and ecophilosophers.”—Stephanie Mills, Utne Reader
In 1877, the American Humane Society was formed as the national organization for animal and child protection. Thirty years later, there were 354 anticruelty organizations chartered in the United States, nearly 200 of which were similarly invested in the welfare of both humans and animals. In The Rights of the Defenseless, Susan J. Pearson seeks to understand the institutional, cultural, legal, and political significance of the perceived bond between these two kinds of helpless creatures, and the attempts made to protect them.
Unlike many of today’s humane organizations, those Pearson follows were delegated police powers to make arrests and bring cases of cruelty to animals and children before local magistrates. Those whom they prosecuted were subject to fines, jail time, and the removal of either animal or child from their possession. Pearson explores the limits of and motivation behind this power and argues that while these reformers claimed nothing more than sympathy with the helpless and a desire to protect their rights, they turned “cruelty” into a social problem, stretched government resources, and expanded the state through private associations. The first book to explore these dual organizations and their storied history, The Rights of the Defenseless will appeal broadly to reform-minded historians and social theorists alike.
Moral theory should be simple: the moral theorist attends to ordinary human action to explain what makes some acts right and others wrong, and we need no microscope to observe a human act. Yet no moral theory that is simple captures all of the morally relevant facts.
In a set of vivid examples, stories, and cases Judith Thomson shows just how wide an array of moral considerations bears on all but the simplest of problems. She is a philosophical analyst of the highest caliber who can tease a multitude of implications out of the story of a mere bit of eavesdropping. She is also a master teller of tales which have a philosophical bite. Beyond these pleasures, however, she brings new depth of understanding to some of the most pressing moral issues of the moment, notably abortion. Thomson’s essays determinedly confront the most difficult questions: What is it to have a moral right to life, or any other right? What is the relation between the infringement of such rights and restitution? How is rights theory to deal with the imposition of risk?
Property rights are a tool humans use in regulating their use of natural resources. Understanding how rights to resources are assigned and how they are controlled is critical to designing and implementing effective strategies for environmental management and conservation.
Rights to Nature is a nontechnical, interdisciplinary introduction to the systems of rights, rules, and responsibilities that guide and control human use of the environment. Following a brief overview of the relationship between property rights and the natural environment, chapters consider:
States of Marriage shows how throughout the colonial period in French Sudan (present-day Mali) the institution of marriage played a central role in how the empire defined its colonial subjects as gendered persons with certain attendant rights and privileges. The book is a modern history of the ideological debates surrounding the meaning of marriage, as well as the associated legal and sociopolitical practices in colonial and postcolonial Mali. It is also the first to use declassified court records regarding colonialist attempts to classify and categorize traditional marriage conventions in the southern region of the country.
In French Sudan, as elsewhere in colonial Africa, the first stage of marriage reform consisted of efforts to codify African marriages, bridewealth transfers, and divorce proceedings in public records, rendering these social arrangements “legible” to the colonial administration. Once this essential legibility was achieved, other, more forceful interventions to control and reframe marriage became possible. This second stage of marriage reform can be traced through transformations in and by the colonial court system, African engagements with state-making processes, and formations of “gender justice.” The latter refers to gender-based notions of justice and legal rights, typically as defined by governing and administrative bodies as well as by socioxadpolitical communities. Gender justice went through a period of favoring the rights of women, to a period of favoring patriarchs, to a period of emphasizing the power of the individual—but all within the context of a paternalistic and restrictive colonial state.
Das Gupta offers an ethnography of seven South Asian organizations in the northeastern United States, looking at their development and politics as well as the conflicts that have emerged within the groups over questions of sexual, class, and political identities. She examines the ways that women’s organizations have defined and responded to questions of domestic violence as they relate to women’s immigration status; she describes the construction of a transnational South Asian queer identity and culture by people often marginalized by both mainstream South Asian and queer communities in the United States; and she draws attention to the efforts of labor groups who have sought economic justice for taxi drivers and domestic workers by confronting local policies that exploit cheap immigrant labor. Responding to the shortcomings of the state, their communities, and the larger social movements of which they are a part, these groups challenge the assumption that citizenship is the necessary basis of rights claims.
Utility and Rights was first published in 1984. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
At issue in the clash between utilitarianism and the theory of rights is a fundamental question about the theoretical underpinnings of moral and political philosophy. Is this structure to be utility-based—grounded in the general welfare—or is it to be based on individual moral and political rights, as critics of utilitarianism increasingly insist? The argument centers, in part, upon the fact that utilitarianism, with its emphasis upon outcomes and total utility in the world, seems to employ a value theory that offers no protection to persons and their vital interests.
The essays in this volume grapple with the main issues in this controversy. They share a common concern with the nature of rights and the ways in which various moral theories can accommodate them; some measure the degree to which utilitarianism can or cannot be modified to include rights. Eight of the eleven essays were written expressly for this book; all of the authors are deeply engaged in the debate over utility and rights, and their essays build upon and extend current thinking on the subject. R. G. Frey's lucid introduction will make the book appropriate for advanced students as well as for scholars in moral, political, and legal theory.
"One ubiquitous criticism of utilitarianism is that it cannot make sense of moral rights at all. This collection is the first that explicitly addresses these issues, and it marks a major step in the debate."–Dale Jamieson, University of Colorado
R. G. Frey is senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of Liverpool. He is the author of Interests and Rights and Rights, Killing, and Suffering.
Warfare in Europe contributed to the development of the modern state. In response to external conflict, state leaders raised armies and defended borders. The centralization of power, the development of bureaucracies, and the integration of economies all maximized revenue to support war. But how does a persistent external threat affect the development of a strong state? The “Garrison State” hypothesis argues that states that face a severe security threat will become autocracies. Conversely, the “Extraction School,” argues that warfare indirectly promotes the development of democratic institutions.
Execution of large-scale war requires the mobilization of resources and usually reluctant populations. In most cases, leaders must extend economic or political rights in exchange for resolving the crisis. Large-scale warfare thus expands political participation in the long run. The authors use empirical statistical modeling to show that war decreases rights in the short term, but the longer and bigger a war gets, the rights of the citizenry expand with the conflict. The authors test this argument through historical case studies—Imperial Russia, Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy, African Americans in World War I and II, and the Tirailleurs Senegalese in World War I—through the use of large-N statistical studies—Europe 1900–50 and Global 1893–2011—and survey data. The results identify when, where, and how war can lead to the expansion of political rights.
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