The Evolution of the Global Human Rights Regime

Rosemary Foot

in Rights Beyond Borders

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780198297765
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599279 | DOI:
The Evolution of the Global Human Rights Regime

Show Summary Details


During the 1970s, a time when the Beijing government was becoming more active internationally, the human rights regime reached a major turning point. In 1976, the two international human rights covenants, first introduced in 1966, came into force. Several democratic countries also introduced a human rights element in their foreign policies. Matters did not stand still after these innovations, and when the Chinese government began its final debate on whether to sign the two major international covenants, it must have been influenced by the knowledge that it was joining a group that, from June 1997, comprised 138 state parties to the ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) and 136 to the ICESCR (International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights), although neither covenant has any effective coercive means of ensuring implementation of its articles. However, considerable normative convergence has occurred and, therefore, this chapter focuses on participatory and rhetorical behaviour in this issue area, even while it notes that actual levels of protection have frequently fallen far short of the required standards. The different sections of the chapter are: Building the Human Rights Regime; The Renewal of Activity, (which started in 1965); The Contribution of Non‐Governmental Organizations; Human Rights and the Foreign Policy of States; The Post‐Cold‐War Era; and Conclusion.

Keywords: China; European countries’ human rights policies; foreign policy; human rights; human rights covenants; human rights regime; ICCPR; ICESCR; international covenants; non‐governmental organizations; normative convergence; rhetorical behaviour; USA's external human rights policy

Chapter.  14084 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.