BOOK REVIEW: International Human Rights. By Jack Donnelly. Westview Press, Boulder: 1993. Pp. 206. Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 1997 Florida State University
Journal of Transnational Law & Policy

BOOK REVIEW: International Human Rights. By Jack Donnelly. Westview Press, Boulder: 1993. Pp. 206.

Summer, 1997

6 J. Transnat'l L. & Pol'y 571

Author

Ronald A. Christaldi *

Excerpt

International law can be roughly defined as the law among or between states. 1 The domestic political structures of many states, and consequently their international policies, have evolved rapidly over the past few years. 2 As a result of these sweeping changes, the issue of human rights has become widely discussed and debated among international publicists and commentators. 3 Jack Donnelly, in his book International Human Rights, deals with this emerging and somewhat ill-defined concept within the context of international law. This review will critically access Donnelly's coverage of the human rights issue. First, this review presents a brief overview of Donnelly's work, International Human Rights. Second, it addresses the questions of what "human rights" are and whether they in fact exist, drawing on the discussion in Donnelly's book and critiquing Donnelly's coverage where necessary. Third, this review critiques Donnelly's arguments concerning the legal status of human rights in international law and explores issues of enforcement. Fourth, Donnelly's coverage of United States foreign policy in relation to human rights is discussed. Lastly, Donnelly's prognosis for the future of human rights is discussed and analyzed.

I. OVERVIEW OF DONNELLY'S INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS

The first two chapters of Donnelly's book offer an overview of the two fundamental areas which are necessary to an understanding of human rights in the international arena. Chapter 1 deals with the existence of both international law and such concepts as state sovereignty and nonintervention. Donnelly's somewhat historical approach is appropriate because ...
 
 
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