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Development and Human Rights: Rhetoric and Reality in India

Oestreich, Joel E. (Associate Professor of Political Science, Drexel University)

978 0 19 063734 7
List price(s):
78.00 USD
56.00 GBP

Publication date:
8 June 2017

Short description: 

Development and Human Rights presents the first book-length study examining the promotion of human rights through development assistance in a single country. It shows how rights promotion changes UN development assistance, and the political implications of these changes. It focuses on UNICEF, the World Bank, the UN Development Programme, and other agencies.

Full description: 

Development and Human Rights examines how United Nations agencies are following a rights based approach to development in India. It asks two questions: how (if at all) does the implementation of a rights based approach differ from traditional development work? And what strategies do development agencies follow to overcome local opposition to this politically controversial strategy? Integrating human rights into the development process means that development agencies can be vitally important instruments in rights protection and promotion, which has been overlooked in almost all existing literature on human rights. This book, then, presents the first full-length study of how these agencies evaluate the rights situation in a single country, and the first study to look at both the good and the bad in a rights based approach. It begins with a description of what a rights based approach is, and an examination of the human rights challenges faced in India. It then focuses on the work of five agencies: UNICEF, the UN Development Programme, the World Bank, the UN Fund for Population Activities, and UN Women. Chapters then summarize how the UN navigates this difficult political terrain, and how effectively these policies are being implemented. It also considers how rights based approaches fit in the traditional discourse on human rights, and what it says about the ability of these agencies to initiate meaningful change on state behavior in the rights arena.


Joel E. Oestreich is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the International Area Studies Program at Drexel University. He is the author of Power and Principle: Human Rights Programming in International Organizations.




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