- Filename: the-minority-rights-revolution.
- ISBN: 9780674043732
- Release Date: 2009-06-30
- Number of pages: 496
- Author: John David Skrentny
- Publisher: Harvard University Press
In the wake of the black civil rights movement, other disadvantaged groups of Americans began to make headway. In the first book to take a broad perspective on this wide-ranging and far-reaching phenomenon, Skrentny exposes the connections between the diverse actions and circumstances that contributed to this revolution.
With an updated preface by the author. Since the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, rights have become the dominant language of the public good around the globe. Indeed, rights have become the trump card in every argument. Long-standing fights for aboriginal rights, the issue of preserving the linguistic heritage of minorities, and same-sex marriage have steered our society into a full-blown rights revolution. This revolution is not only deeply controversial in North America, but is being watched around the world. Are group rights jeopardizing individual rights? When everyone asserts their rights, what happens to responsibilities? Can families survive and prosper when each member has rights? Is rights language empowering individuals while weakening community? Michael Ignatieff confronts these controversial questions head-on in The Rights Revolution, defending the supposed individualism of rights language against all comers. For Ignatieff, believing in rights means believing in politics, believing in deliberation rather than confrontation, compromise rather than violence.
Now with a new afterword, the Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatic account of the civil rights era’s climactic battle in Birmingham as the movement, led by Martin Luther King, Jr., brought down the institutions of segregation. "The Year of Birmingham," 1963, was a cataclysmic turning point in America’s long civil rights struggle. Child demonstrators faced down police dogs and fire hoses in huge nonviolent marches against segregation. Ku Klux Klansmen retaliated by bombing the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, killing four young black girls. Diane McWhorter, daughter of a prominent Birmingham family, weaves together police and FBI records, archival documents, interviews with black activists and Klansmen, and personal memories into an extraordinary narrative of the personalities and events that brought about America’s second emancipation. In a new afterword—reporting last encounters with hero Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and describing the current drastic anti-immigration laws in Alabama—the author demonstrates that Alabama remains a civil rights crucible.
The most dramatic change in American society in the last forty years has been the explosive growth of personal rights, a veritable "rights revolution" that is perceived by both conservatives and liberals as a threat to traditional values and our sense of community. Is it possible that our pursuit of personal rights is driving our country toward moral collapse? In The Rights Revolution, Samuel Walker answers this question with an emphatic no. The "rights revolution," says Walker, is the embodiment of the American ideals of morality and community. He argues that the critics of personal rights--from conservatives such as Robert Bork to liberals such as Michael Sandel--often forget the blatant injustices perpetrated against minorities such as women, homosexuals, African-Americans, and mentally handicapped citizens before the civil ights movement. They attack "identity politics" policies such as affirmative action, but fail to offer any reasonable solution to the dilemma of how to overcome exclusion in a society with such a powerful legacy of discrimination. Communitarians, who offer the most comprehensive alternative to a rights-oriented society, rarely define what they mean by community. What happens when conflicts arise between different notions of community? Walker concedes that the expansion of individual rights does present problems, but insists that the gains far outweigh the losses. And he reminds us that the absolute protection of our individual rights is our best defense against discrimination and injustice. The Rights Revolution is an impassioned call to honor the personal rights of all American citizens, and to embrace an enriched sense of democracy, tolerance, and community in our nation.
The right to a healthy environment has been the subject of extensive philosophical debates that revolve around the question: Should rights to clean air, water, and soil be entrenched in law? David Boyd answers this by moving beyond theoretical debates to measure the practical effects of enshrining the right in constitutions. His pioneering analysis of 193 constitutions and the laws and court decisions of more than 100 nations in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa reveals a positive correlation between constitutional protection and stronger environmental laws, smaller ecological footprints, superior environmental performance, and improved quality of life.
Using the 1977 campaign against the Dade County Florida gay rights ordinance as a focal point, this book provides an examination of the emergence of the modern lesbian and gay American movement, the challenges it posed to the accepted American notions of sexuality, and how American society reacted in turn.
Affirmative action strikes at the heart of deeply held beliefs about employment and education, about fairness, and about the troubled history of race relations in America. Published on the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, this is the only book available that gives readers a balanced, non-polemical, and lucid account of this highly contentious issue. Beginning with the roots of affirmative action, Anderson describes African-American demands for employment in the defense industry--spearheaded by A. Philip Randolph's threatened March on Washington in July 1941--and the desegregation of the armed forces after World War II. He investigates President Kennedy's historic 1961 executive order that introduced the term "affirmative action" during the early years of the civil rights movement and he examines President Johnson's attempts to gain equal opportunities for African Americans. He describes President Nixon's expansion of affirmative action with the Philadelphia Plan--which the Supreme Court upheld--along with President Carter's introduction of "set asides" for minority businesses and the Bakke ruling which allowed the use of race as one factor in college admissions. By the early 1980s many citizens were becoming alarmed by affirmative action, and that feeling was exemplified by the Reagan administration's backlash, which resulted in the demise and revision of affirmative action during the Clinton years. He concludes with a look at the University of Michigan cases of 2003, the current status of the policy, and its impact. Throughout, the author weighs each side of every issue--often finding merit in both arguments--resulting in an eminently fair account of one of America's most heated debates. A colorful history that brings to life the politicians, legal minds, and ordinary people who have fought for or against affirmative action, The Pursuit of Fairness helps clear the air and calm the emotions, as it illuminates a difficult and critically important issue.
This book is the first to provide quantifiable evidence that protest shifts the policy positions of national political leaders for each branch of government. Drawing on daily presidential rhetoric, roll call votes of congressional leaders, and Supreme Court decisions, the book demonstrates that national politicians take cues from minority protest activity that later lead to major shifts in public policy, rivaling the influence that minorities have through elections and public opinion.
This volume places recent events in Iraq and Afghanistan to Tunisia and Egypt in historical context. It provides a history of revolutions and insurgencies, an introduction to the way social scientists think about the causes and outcomes of revolutions, and an explanation of their significance in historical and political change. Jack A. Goldstone begins with a brief history of revolutions and insurgencies, from the revolutions that brought democracy to Greek city-states and led to thefounding of Rome through the major peasant revolts of the Middle Ages in Europe and China, and the Independence revolts in the Americas. He also touches upon the insurgencies in Latin America (Zapatistas and FARC) and Asia (in Malaysia and the Philippines), whose failure is instructive in understanding why revolts succeed or fail. The book then discusses types of revolutions and their causes; the radical social revolutions in France, Russia, and China; the revolutions for independence in Indiaand Algeria; revolutions against dictators in Mexico, Cuba, and Iran; and the so-called color revolutions in Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, and Georgia. Goldstone considers some of the key revolutionary leaders of history where they came from, what inspired them, and how they changed their societies. A diverse range of popular groups have carried revolutions: peasants, miners, urban craftsmen, professionals, students, and mothers, all treated here. A chapter on insurgency and counter-insurgencycovers Iraq and Afghanistan. Finally, Goldstone grapples with the outcomes of revolutions: whether they are associated with the rise of freedom and democracy, devastating ideological dictatorships, or something inconclusive. He examines the historical legacies of revolutions, in the areas of freedom, economic growth, women's rights, and minority rights. Revolutions have succeeded enough to feed dreams of freedom, but failed often enough to prompt caution.
"Nothing about us without us" has been a core principle of American disability rights activists for more than half a century. It represents a response by people with disabilities to being treated with scorn and abuse or as objects of pity, and to having the most fundamental decisions relating to their lives--where they would live; if and how they would be educated; if they would be allowed to marry or have families; indeed, if they would be permitted to live at all--made by those who were, in the parlance of the movement, "temporarily able-bodied." In What We Have Done: An Oral History of the Disability Rights Movement, Fred Pelka takes that slogan at face value. He presents the voices of disability rights activists who, in the period from 1950 to 1990, transformed how society views people with disabilities, and recounts how the various streams of the movement came together to push through the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the most sweeping civil rights legislation since passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Beginning with the stories of those who grew up with disabilities in the 1940s and '50s, the book traces how disability came to be seen as a political issue, and how people with disabilities--often isolated, institutionalized, and marginalized--forged a movement analogous to the civil rights, women's rights, and gay rights movements, and fought for full and equal participation in American society.
Supreme Court lawyer and political pundit Linda Hirshman details the stunning story of how a resourceful and dedicated minority transformed the notion of American marriage equality and forged a campaign for cultural change that will serve as a model for all future political movements. In the vein of Taylor Branch’s classic Parting of the Waters, Hirshman’s groundbreaking Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution is the powerful story of a massive shift in American culture. Hirshman offers an insider’s view of the crucial struggle that is leading to change, incorporating her unique experiences and insights and drawing upon new interviews—with movement titans such as Frank Kameny and Phyllis Lyon, with next-generation activists such as Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry, and with allies including the likes of New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand—to create a comprehensive, inspiring history of change in our time.
We are currently witnessing the global diffusion of multiculturalism, both as a political discourse and as a set of international legal norms. States today are under increasing international scrutiny regarding their treatment of ethnocultural groups, and are expected to meet evolving international standards regarding the rights of indigenous peoples, national minorities, and immigrants. This phenomenon represents a veritable revolution in international relations, yet has received little public or scholarly attention. In this book, Kymlicka examines the factors underlying this change, and the challenges it raises. Against those critics who argue that multiculturalism is a threat to universal human rights, Kymlicka shows that the sort of multiculturalism that is being globalized is inspired and constrained by the human rights revolution, and embedded in a framework of liberal-democratic values. However, the formulation and implementation of these international norms has generated a number of dilemmas. The policies adopted by international organizations to deal with ethnic diversity are driven by conflicting impulses. Pessimism about the destabilizing consequences of ethnic politics alternates with optimism about the prospects for a peaceful and democratic form of multicultural politics. The result is often an unstable mix of paralyzing fear and naïve hope, rooted in conflicting imperatives of security and justice. Moreover, given the enormous differences in the characteristics of minorities (eg., their size, territorial concentration, cultural markers, historic relationship to the state), it is difficult to formulate standards that apply to all groups. Yet attempts to formulate more targeted norms that apply only to specific categories of minorities (eg., "indigenous peoples" or "national minorities") have proven controversial and unstable. Kymlicka examines these dilemmas as they have played out in both the theory and practice of international minority rights protection, including recent developments regarding the rights of national minorities in Europe, the rights of indigenous peoples in the Americas, as well as emerging debates on multiculturalism in Asia and Africa.
A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, Nonfiction A New York Times Notable Book of 2015 A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of 2015 A Boston Globe Best Book of 2015 A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2015 An NPR Best Book of 2015 Countless books have been written about the civil rights movement, but far less attention has been paid to what happened after the dramatic passage of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in 1965 and the turbulent forces it unleashed. Give Us the Ballot tells this story for the first time. In this groundbreaking narrative history, Ari Berman charts both the transformation of American democracy under the VRA and the counterrevolution that has sought to limit voting rights, from 1965 to the present day. The act enfranchised millions of Americans and is widely regarded as the crowning achievement of the civil rights movement. And yet, fifty years later, we are still fighting heated battles over race, representation, and political power, with lawmakers devising new strategies to keep minorities out of the voting booth and with the Supreme Court declaring a key part of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional. Berman brings the struggle over voting rights to life through meticulous archival research, in-depth interviews with major figures in the debate, and incisive on-the-ground reporting. In vivid prose, he takes the reader from the demonstrations of the civil rights era to the halls of Congress to the chambers of the Supreme Court. At this important moment in history, Give Us the Ballot provides new insight into one of the most vital political and civil rights issues of our time.
Is majority rule the essence of democracy? This dissertation explores how Americans debated this question in the formative four decades before the Civil War. Scholars examining democracy in this period focus on suffrage expansion, partisan politics, and divisive national issues like banking and the extension of slavery. This dissertation reorients investigation to social, political, and constitutional conflicts that exploded over state and local moral regulations. It focuses on three areas that drew national attention after being targeted by moral reform crusades: Sunday laws that prohibited work and recreation on the Christian Sabbath; restrictive liquor regulations; and northern race regulations in marriage, transportation, and public schools.