This collection of essays on the current human rights climate in 19 countries includes Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Israel, Poland, the USA, and USSR, and represents a variety of regimes, cultural traditions, and geographical areas. . . . For analysis of the facts this volume excels. A well-crafted introduction describes current debate about human rights theory and practice, traces the development of human rights instruments, and discusses problems of implementation. Strongly recommended.
The bulk of the scholarly literature on human rights deals with international law and politics. In contrast, this volume offers nineteen case studies of national human rights practices. Although international factors cannot be ignored, most human rights violations are perpetrated by states against their own citizens; the principal causes of the respect for and violation of human rights lie in national social and political structures.