The 20th century has been described as the bloodiest in human history, but it was also the century in which people around the world embraced ideas of democracy and human rights as never before, constructing social, political and legal institutions seeking to contain human behaviour. Todd Landman offers an optimistic, yet cautionary tale of these developments, drawing on the literature, from politics, international relations and international law. He celebrates the global turn from tyranny and violence towards democracy and rights but also warns of the precariousness of these achievements in the face of democratic setbacks and the undermining of rights commitments by many countries during the so-called `War on Terror'.
Todd Landman is Professor of Government and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Essex. He was Director (2010-2013) of the Institute for Democracy and Conflict Resolution, Deputy Director (1999-2003) and Co-Director (2003-2005) of the Human Rights Centre and Director (2007-2010) of the Centre for Democratic Governance. He is author of Protecting Human Rights (Georgetown 2005), Studying Human Rights (Routledge 2006), and Issues and Methods in Comparative Politics (Routledge 2000, 2003, 2008); co-author of Measuring Human Rights (Routledge 2009), Assessing the Quality of Democracy (International IDEA 2008); Governing Latin America (2003), and Citizenship Rights and Social Movements (Oxford 1997, 2000); editor of Human Rights Volumes I-IV (Sage 2009), and co-editor of the Sage Handbook of Comparative Politics (Sage 2009) and Real Social Science: Applied Phronesis (Cambridge 2012). He has carried out numerous projects on the analysis and synthesis of data and complex governmental information, preparation of reports, and the development of assessment and measurement frameworks for significant inter-governmental organisations, governments, and non-governmental organisations.
Introduction Abundance and Freedom Democracy and Human Rights Waves and Setbacks Evidence and Explanations Agents and Advocates Truth and Justice Threats and Pitfalls Benefits and Outcomes Hopes and Challenges