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International Law and Human Rights: Diverging and Converging Histories


  • Quataert Jean H.

    (Binghamton University, SUNY)


This article explores ways to think about the historical intersections of international law and human rights visions and principles in a global context. It catalogues an intertwining of new historiographies, notably the recent convergence of research interests of historians and international lawyers that draws attention to non-linear analyses; the role of social movements in understanding developments in the law; and the importance of historical contexts for interpretation. It sketches one promising analytical framework to assess the dynamic interconnections of international law and human rights from the mid-nineteenth century through the formal creation of the human rights system under U.N. auspices between 1945 and 1949. It concludes with a case study of gender tensions in more recent human rights global politics to provide historically-specific examples of the new possibilities of bringing historical interpretations to the study of international law and human rights.

Suggested Citation

  • Quataert Jean H., 2012. "International Law and Human Rights: Diverging and Converging Histories," New Global Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 6(3), pages 1-22, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:nglost:v:6:y:2012:i:3:p:22:n:3

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