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The promise of human rights : constitutional government, democratic legitimacy, and international law / Jamie Mayerfeld.

By: Mayerfeld, Jamie [author.].
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Pennsylvania studies in human rights: Publisher: Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, [2016]Copyright date: ©2016Description: 1 online resource (303 pages).Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9780812292800; 0812292804.Subject(s): Human rights | Constitutional law | Exceptionalism -- United States | National characteristics, AmericanAdditional physical formats: Print version:: Promise of human rights.DDC classification: 323 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
1. Human rights -- 2. Madison's compound republic and the logic of checks and balances -- 3. Europe and the virtues of international constitutionalism -- 4. American exceptionalism and the betrayal of human rights, part I : the torture memos -- 5. American exceptionalism and the betrayal of human rights, part II : enabling torture -- 6. The democratic legitimacy of international human rights law.
Summary: "International human rights law is often criticized as an infringement of constitutional democracy. In The Promise of Human Rights, Jamie Mayerfeld argues to the contrary that international human rights law provides a necessary extension of checks and balances and therefore completes the domestic constitutional order. In today's world, constitutional democracy is best understood as a cooperative project enlisting both domestic and international guardians to strengthen the protection of human rights. Reasons to support this view may be found in the political philosophy of James Madison, the principal architect of the U.S. Constitution. The Promise of Human Rights presents sustained theoretical discussions of human rights, constitutionalism, democracy, and sovereignty, along with an extended case study of divergent transatlantic approaches to human rights. Mayerfeld shows that the embrace of international human rights law has inhibited human rights violations in Europe whereas its marginalization has facilitated human rights violations in the United States. A longstanding policy of 'American exceptionalism' was a major contributing factor to the Bush administration's use of torture after 9/11. Mounting a combination of theoretical and empirical arguments, Mayerfeld concludes that countries genuinely committed to constitutional democracy should incorporate international human rights law into their domestic legal system and accept international oversight of their human rights practices"--Provided by publisher.
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Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
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K3240 .M3834 2016 (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctt1bmzkmk Available ocn947084164

Includes bibliographical references and index.

1. Human rights -- 2. Madison's compound republic and the logic of checks and balances -- 3. Europe and the virtues of international constitutionalism -- 4. American exceptionalism and the betrayal of human rights, part I : the torture memos -- 5. American exceptionalism and the betrayal of human rights, part II : enabling torture -- 6. The democratic legitimacy of international human rights law.

"International human rights law is often criticized as an infringement of constitutional democracy. In The Promise of Human Rights, Jamie Mayerfeld argues to the contrary that international human rights law provides a necessary extension of checks and balances and therefore completes the domestic constitutional order. In today's world, constitutional democracy is best understood as a cooperative project enlisting both domestic and international guardians to strengthen the protection of human rights. Reasons to support this view may be found in the political philosophy of James Madison, the principal architect of the U.S. Constitution. The Promise of Human Rights presents sustained theoretical discussions of human rights, constitutionalism, democracy, and sovereignty, along with an extended case study of divergent transatlantic approaches to human rights. Mayerfeld shows that the embrace of international human rights law has inhibited human rights violations in Europe whereas its marginalization has facilitated human rights violations in the United States. A longstanding policy of 'American exceptionalism' was a major contributing factor to the Bush administration's use of torture after 9/11. Mounting a combination of theoretical and empirical arguments, Mayerfeld concludes that countries genuinely committed to constitutional democracy should incorporate international human rights law into their domestic legal system and accept international oversight of their human rights practices"--Provided by publisher.

Print version record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Mayerfeld (Univ. of Washington) addresses the subject of constitutional democracy and international human rights. Using James Madison's thoughts, he argues that true commitment to liberal democracy in a nation requires a commitment to the international law of human rights. Just as no people should judge their own cases, so no nations should pass legal judgment on their own policies but should be judged by dispassionate outsiders. Madison was writing on behalf of federal authority over the original states in the Articles of Confederation, but Mayerfeld applies Madison's logic to nation-states and international law. The desired result is an extension of checks and balances. The author presents a positive view of the European Union and the Council of Europe in reinforcing human rights in democratic states in that region. Writing before Brexit, he notes British dissatisfaction with some examples of regional authority. Mayerfeld's main purpose is to show how the US's constraining views of international human rights law contributed to US policies of torture after 9/11. He disagrees with the "New Sovereigntists," who elevate national autonomy over that law. Carefully researched and clearly written, the book has much relevance to contemporary times. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. --David P. Forsythe, University of Nebraska

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Jamie Mayerfeld is Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington.

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