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Are the global trends toward democratization and neoliberal economic development also providing enhanced protection for human rights? In this edited collection of theoretical essays and case studies, the contributors assess the often glaring contradiction between democratization trends in developing countries in the face of continuing human rights violations.
The volume begins by asking whether we need to rethink our conceptualizations of democracy, human rights, and development, and particularly the causal relationships between these areas. An analysis of the changing nature of the international norms associated with these concepts illustrates some of the inherent contradictions. Next, an assessment of the status of women in the new democracies demonstrates the fallacy of assuming that all citizens progress equally, and underscores the necessity for including gender considerations and needs. Case studies based in Latin America and Africa examine further the relationships between democracy and human rights, with particular emphasis on the issue of consolidation in the future. The contributors conclude that democracy and development will only be sustainable with the active participation of civil society, especially nongovernmental groups. This collection will be important for students, scholars, and policy makers involved with issues of human rights and democratization in developing countries.
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