In This Review

Globalization and Human Rights
Globalization and Human Rights
edited by Alison Brysk
University of California Press, 2002, 310 pp

The most systematic attempt yet to untangle the often contradictory impacts of globalization on human rights. Transnational integration and increased mobility can simultaneously strengthen and diminish the protection of individual rights and the dignity of individuals. Globalized markets have facilitated more monitoring of social conditions but have also opened up more opportunities for economic exploitation. At the same time, information flows have emboldened human rights campaigns and fostered transnational activist networks. Among the more intriguing contributions: Kristen Hill Maher shows that transnational migration tends to undercut human rights by creating vulnerable noncitizen populations; Richard Falk argues that globalization "from above" is eroding worker rights and social protections, but globalization "from below" is creating an emergent global civil society, and Wayne Sandholtz argues that global society is creating new rules that allow forcible intervention to stop gross violations of basic rights. Most of the essays suggest that remedies for the threats and abuses of globalization require stronger global institutions. Less attention is focused on strengthening the state itself -- even though that formula remains fundamental to the provision and protection of human rights.