The Global Politics of Human Rights: Bringing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) into the 21st Century

This publication gives the UDHR just such a fresh look. We, the editors, have brought together 24 articles by a large international group of human rights scholars and practitioners, experts and activists, each examining one particular aspect of the history of the UDHR, the expansion and implementation of its Articles, its role in the prevention of violence, and its potential to address a changing world. This publication has two immediate goals. The first is to address the question of whether the UDHR is relevant not only to human rights as understood in the mid-20th century, but also to contemporary values, dynamics, and conditions worldwide in the 21st century. As argued in these articles, the answer is a strong affirmation of the relevance and importance of the UDHR, and human rights in general, at present and in the future. The second is to illustrate, with specifics, how the UDHR and its Articles can be further adapted and implemented to uphold and safeguard human rights in the early 21st century, even as global political dynamics move in the opposite direction, swayed by the siren songs of populism, authoritarianism, nativism, and extremism.