oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Human Rights Diplomacy, Rein Müllerson : book review

Volume 33, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



Much has been written about the theory and philosophy of human rights and the acceptance of some human rights norms as binding international law. However, the discourse on how states can ensure compliance with such internationalised norms through the formulation and implementation of foreign policy, the where idealism and political realism meet, is still largely unexplored. Rein Müllerson, Professor of international law at Kings' College, London, aims with this work to comprehensively analyse the theory and practice of human rights diplomacy in a post-Cold War world, attempting to find the elusive middle ground between realism and moralism. The book is published against the background of a number of developments in the post-Cold War world, such as the growing economic importance of the Peoples' Republic of China with its controversial human rights record, the democratisation of Eastern Europe, the violent implosion of Yugoslavia and the formulation of a common foreign and security policy by the European Union, which have combined to focus attention on human rights as a foreign policy instrument.

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