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Between universalism and regional law and politics: A comparative history of the American, European, and African human rights systems

Item

Title

Between universalism and regional law and politics: A comparative history of the American, European, and African human rights systems

Date

2018-01

Volume

16

Issue

1

Bibliographic Citation

Alexandra Huneeus & Mikael Rask Madsen, Between universalism and regional law and politics: A comparative history of the American, European, and African human rights systems, 16 Int'l J. Const. L. 136 (2018).

Abstract

This article represents a first systematic attempt to compare the institutional histories of the regional human rights systems in Europe, the Americas, and Africa. It argues that the three main regional human rights systems have enacted common scripts that have produced relatively similar institutional models across the regions under scrutiny. This is not to deny, however, the enormous variation among the systems: nor is it to deny the role of local social and political contexts in shaping them. Rather, the analysis seeks precisely to identify both the common institutional scripts and the regional particularities to render the general history of regional human rights courts and commissions–a key component of the larger history of human rights that has been largely overlooked in current debates. We argue that the dynamics of the Cold War initially shaped the bounds within which actors in each region came to realize, re-shape, and re-signify common institutional scripts.

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