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The Future of International Human Rights Burns Weston's latest book


Burns Weston, TFF adviser


With Steve Marks (now the François-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health) professor Burns Weston has recently published: "The Future of International Human Rights" (Ardsley, NY: Transnational Publishers, Inc., 1999). The book can be purchased directly from our publisher, Transnational Publishers, Inc., in Ardsley, New York either by phone (1-800-914-8186) or via their Web site ( at the list price of $115.

The book was conceived as a way to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the UDHR and seeks to envisage the future of international human rights through both an analysis of existing human rights norms, institutions, and procedures, and the projection of preferred future trends in these realms.

It consists of 13 provocative essays plus a foreword by UNHCHR Mary Robinson and a poem by award-winning Iowa poet Marvin Bell ("The Dead Have Nothing to Lose by Telling the Truth").


The authors and their essays include, in order:

Richard A. Falk (USA), "A Half Century of Human Rights: Geopolitics and Values";

Martha C. Nussbaum (USA), "Capabilities, Human Rights, and the Universal Declaration";

Burns H. Weston (USA) , "The Universality of Human Rights in a Multicultured World: Toward Respectful Decision-Making";

Upendra Baxi (India), "Voices of Suffering, Fragmented Universality, and the Future of Human Rights";

Anne Orford (Australia), "Contesting Globalization: A Feminist Perspective on the Future of Human Rights";

Kamal Hossain (Bangladesh), "Globalization and Human Rights: Clash of Universal Aspirations and Special Interests";

Yozo Yokota (Japan), "Reflections on the Future of Civil and Political Rights";

Rein Mullerson (Estonia/UK), "Reflections on the Future of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights";

M. Cherif Bassiouni (USA/Egypt), Strengthening the Norms of International Humanitarian law to Combat Impunity";

Stephen P. Marks (USA), "The United Nations and Human Rights: The Promise of Multilateral Diplomacy and Action";

Dinah Shelton (USA), The Promise of Regional Human Rights Systems";

John Dugard (South Africa/The Netherlands), "Reconciliation and Justice: The South African Experience"; and

Julie A. Mertus (USA), Human rights and the promise of Transnational Civil Society."


The above 13 essays share a common commitment to the global quest for a legal, moral, and political culture that is based on universal respect for internationally recognized human rights. At the same time, they are as diverse as the origins and identities of their authors, representing 8 different countries. Accordingly, the book provides for active discourse among and across a wide range of people. It thus will be helpful to government officials, international civil servants, nongovernmental organizations, and, not least, the general reader with an interest in world affairs. It also would make for an excellent classroom text.



ABOUT.COM, Feb. 9 -- BURNS WESTON, UI professor emeritus of law, commented on the future of international human rights, his co-edited book of the same title, and the new UI Center for Human Rights, which he says reflects the "university's commitment to a permanent presence for human rights issues and action on its campus." Weston said he has identified three international human rights trends: an increasing focus on the protection of human rights; an increasing recognition of social economic and cultural rights and an increasing recognition of the right to development; and the growing importance of transnational civil society as a major player in the international human rights promotion and protection movement, spurred in part by the availability of Internet technologies. Weston also commented on the pertinence of the 13 essays that make up "The Future of International Human Rights," recently published and co-edited by Stephen P. Marks, professor, Harvard School of Public Health.


The link to the UI Center for Human Rights (UICHR) is


Burns Weston who is an TFF adviser can be contacted at and you can read more about him here.  













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