The Role Of Human Rights In International Relations. Theoretical Implication And Networking Regarding Economic Sanctions

Term Paper, 2020

18 Pages


Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Human Rights and International Relations in Theoretical Fields

The Theoretical Field of Realism in International Relations

The Theoretical Field of Liberalism in International Relations

The Theoretical Field of Constructivism in International Relations

Human Rights Importance in Multilateral Agreements and Treaties

Networking between Human Rights and Economic Sanctions

Human Rights Importance and Commitment to the United Nations


Bibliography / Sources


During the implementation of the United Nations Charter, the term human rights were mentioned seven times making the promotion and protection of human rights as key purpose in the effective guiding of the organization principle. In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights brought in the human rights within the realm of global law. Since then, United Nations has effectively protected human rights through the correct legal documents (UDHR | 1948). Human rights are currently a permanent characteristic of international relations. The perception of human rights, or rather the rights of men, was already known in the 18th. Century. Human rights have lately become decisively entangled in both the study and practice of international relations. The dominant theories of international relations explain the responsibilities of such rights in different ways (Dunne&Hanson | 2009). It is evidenced that their major claims carry the higher persuasive arguments representing a natural juxtaposition of national sovereignty with different ideas of universal and moral order (Peterson, Murdie&Asal | 2018).

Now, while the cold war prevented the immediate focus and implementation of human rights in the United Nations system disposition, the growth of United Nations international Human Rights regime and the rise of global non-governmental human rights organizations as well as Human Rights activism have followed a closer insertion of human rights into nation diplomatic practices. The development revealed the existence of human rights contestation as a section of the cold war. The end of the Cold War heralded a beautiful springtime for liberalism and human rights. Nevertheless, the advent of terror and war has shown that the cascade of human rights norms is open for critical revision for particular nations that might reinterpret or reject the previous set principles (Dunne&Hanson | 2009). The recent developments in this area have raised questions concerning human rights and their implementation in state practice. Even though some revisions are happening now, it has remained the case that different states have continued to be confronted by human rights display to varying degree and evidence of human rights protection at promotion abroad and at home (Dunne&Hanson | 2009). Though much attention has rightly been focusing on changes to the internalization of such types of norms, currently, people are seeing a significant evolution of different practices and concepts concerning the protection of human rights at the international level (Dunne&Hanson | 2009).

This has been made responsible by the formulations like the responsibility to protect actively and the accompanying focus of the intervention to protect human rights and in the recognition that prevention of human rights abuse is vitally significant (Peterson, Murdie&Asal | 2018). Internationale Beziehungen I Seite 3 von 18 With the above analysis and need to understand more on the relations between human rights and international relations, the following essay discusses and in a broad way explains these connections in terms of networking between Human Rights and Economic sanctions, the relationship between human rights and international relations in academic fields and how human rights are used in human rights relations.

Human Rights and International Relations in Theoretical Fields

Regarding International Relations, the prevalence of human rights in different contemporary debates in the world of politics has presented as puzzled for many researchers and scholars currently working in International Relations studies. Within the geopolitical world currently filled by nation claims concerning the exclusivity of authority as the same domain, the concept of human rights has remained to be a polite fiction. These claims have remained the leading dominant voice within the political voice in International Relations since the emergence of the discipline (Dunne&Hanson | 2009). As Forsythe (2017), puts it, realist lack their way of thinking. On a liberal way of thinking, international Relations argue, that it is rational for nations to pursue laws that congruent with Human Rights principles. Additionally, constructivism is significant to realism, though for different reasons. Form a constructivist's point of view; states pursue human rights objectives for reasons regarding their status and identity.

The fact that currently there is a significant debate about the main approaches of International Relations and what Human Rights precisely mean and why different actors mostly promote them, shows the significant philosophical issues concerning the difference between existing theories and reality, which interpret and explain it in a broader meaning. It is common theme in the mainstream study of International Relations to suggest that the subject matter in consideration is a word for the sovereign nations (Dunne&Hanson | 2009).

Also, it is a common point to note that the International Relation mainstream treats countries as rational participators who, by every means, seek to maximize their security or power. Both cases follow what many researchers currently term as the assumptions of anarchy. At this time, what is being meant by the term is not a permanent nation of war, but rather the absence of a foreign country that has power and a more prominent authority to initiate just peace. A better example of the anarchy problem can be seen from the Hobbes description of how an organization emerges in a state of nature. In his Book „The Leviathan“ he argues, that a nation is an essential condition for the durable domestic and political order (Hobbes | 1651). A country is justified in the requirements of a Internationale Beziehungen I Seite 4 von 18 bargain between the national administration, whose primary duty is to provide security in the nation and the people who have no right but just to obey the sovereign will. Furthermore, Hobbes argues, that if a state lacks a stand in connection with one another, then the same way happens to people related to one another within the same country (Hobbes | 1651). Despite these differences, the Hobbesian view of the world seems to be a continual reminder of the different limits to coordination and the present daily possibility of conflicts within a decentralized system where there is no worldwide Leviathan to oversee the sovereign states.

The Theoretical Field of Realism in International Relations

According to the theoretical aspect of Realism , if people accept the concept of authenticity as the starting point in the nation, then it translates to the world of politics which seem to be unfriendly to human rights (Dunne&Hanson | 2009). A realist nation is a state where rules and policies of the country are frequently broken by people and agreements between parties last only if they are benefiting the contracting parties (Peterson, Murdie&Asal | 2018).This is just like what Hobbes made the problem with a characteristic of clarity on treaties that are not imposed on people force, but through words (Dunne&Hanson | 2009). Currently, realists have continued to stick on the belief that for many years, the diplomacy of human rights is just an informal talk (Lauren | 1983). Additionally, realists believe that human rights are simply a section of vocabulary or knowledge of the modern international community. After all, no state leader can openly challenge the principles underpinning the national human rights regime (Dunne&Hanson | 2009). The argument put across by the realists is that when coercion comes into consideration, human rights are pushed very low on the list containing the national policy objectives and goals.

This explicitly explains the prevalence of double standards within international diplomacy where different political leaders provide oral consent in protecting different human rights while at the same time allowing the principles to be effectively undermined by the compulsion for other goals. The conditions within the international anarchy and the coercion for national interest have important reasons including why the realist view is somehow skeptical regarding the concept of human rights (Dunne&Hanson | 2009). The other reason is the ethical obligation on objection to the assumption of universal morality, which is the bedrock of current existing human rights regime (Peterson, Murdie&Asal | 2018).

All significant powers in history have been articulated on the widespread claims that people should not be surprised by such measures, which benefit the dominant influence only (Peterson, Murdie&Asal | 2018). Such types of persuasions connect with the national interest and universal morality can be seen as a piece of evidence in justifications the colonial possessions made by European imperial powers during the 17th century (Dunne&Hanson | 2009). At the same time, people living in outside western Countries presently often complain, that human beings are a significant tool used by the powerful to critically secure different goals, for example favorable terms of trade or even a change of the whole regime.

The Theoretical Field of Liberalism in International Relations

„Whether this satirical inscription on a Dutch innkeeper's sign, on which a churchyard cemetery has been painted, concerns mankind in general, or in particular the leaders of states, who can never be sated of war, or simply the philosophers, who dream this sweet dream — may be better set aside here“ is the first Sentence of Kant's Perpetual Peace and philosophically represents the concept of Liberalism. The Perpetual Peace was words once put by innkeeper Dutch in his springboard as a satirical inscription over the representation of the churchyard. This Sentence represents two shifts in the meaning of peace, its first one is the absence of war, a possible condition for the living, and the second shift is the cosmopolitan peace, not merely the absence of war.

A state is not, like the ground it occupies, a piece of property. It is a society of men whom no one else has any right to command or to dispose except the state itself. It is a trunk with its own roots. But to incorporate it into another state, like a graft, is to destroy its existence as a moral person, reducing it to a thing; such incorporation thus contradicts the idea of the original contract without which no right over a people can be conceived (Kant | 1991).

Following Kant's Theory states are in a state of nature with one another, there is a given analogy between the individual and the state and the autonomy of a state denote the state as a „moral person“. Commensurately, the four fold division is based on not only the difference between liberalism and realism, but also as an internal division inside the camp between defensive and offensive liberalism (Kant | 1991). Historically, liberalism is the primary challenger of realism in the science of international relations. In the stage of ideas, liberalism comes out of the Western tradition of thinking in where a person has the rights which public authorities have to respect as a given (Doyle&Recchia | 2011). Now, while there are different forms of liberal thinking, the focal idea in that specific people have the necessary rights to speech and fair treatments in the likes of Internationale Beziehungen I Seite 6 von 18 judicial methods as well as the political equality made within the political constitution (Peterson, Murdie&Asal | 2018). While both Machiavelli and Hobbies were both invoked by the realists to adequately justify the promotion of the state national self-interest, different liberals effectively look at Kant and Locke as their role models (Doyle&Recchia | 2011). From this perspective, Kant builds muscular international liberalism where all persons have a common moral wroth and where abuse of right in one part of the globe is felt in every place of the nation. Therefore, it is very easy for people to dismiss liberalism as just being utopian (Doyle&Recchia | 2011). The history of statecraft from the mid-years of 17th Century onwards has been so readily and easily to be understood in terms of aggression and conflict (Hobbes | 1651). Nevertheless, as liberals in most areas point out, moral universalism has often continued to insert itself to the study of international politics effectively. From the 17th Century, most nations have been working towards attaining the core of universal principles of liberalism (Doyle&Recchia | 2011). For instance, the western nation's communities enshrined citizen's rights within the legal constitution, which for example ended the slave trade and the institutionalization of slavery (Dunne&Hanson | 2009). This also led to the agreement of protection rights for workers following an advancement on international relations in humanitarian law to adequately protect the wounded community or regarding the treatment of soldiers captured in war and the criminalized targeting of citizens (Doyle&Recchia | 2011). Most advancement made at the start of the 17th century and the beginning of the 19th century becomes confined during the internationalization of human rights by United Nations systems after World War II in 1945, the implementation of the Human Rights standards in the 20th century have been enormous (Doyle&Recchia | 2011). Regarding these implementations of Human Rights, liberals have recognized that differences within global humanity sovereign states present specific problems when it comes to embedding moral principles (Peterson, Murdie&Asal | 2018).

The Theoretical Field of Constructivism in International Relations

In addition to the both concepts mentioned above, there is the concept of constructivism which differs widely from liberalism and realism. The difference between them is that constructivism is not an approach to human rights like the other two are (Dunne&Hanson | 2009). Constructivism offers to researchers and students of International Relations a way of thinking regarding the connection between human rights interests and norms (Hurd | 2009).

Unlike liberals and realists, constructivists argue that there is no need for tension within the affairs of sovereign nations and the moral principles connected with protection and promotion of human rights (Dunne&Hanson | 2009).

The significant theoretical point here concerns the constrictive nature of international and political reality, mainly how different states are made and created through shared values and norms. The development of human rights across the globe needs to be understood as per different dynamics (Doyle&Recchia | 2011).

According to social life, the global realm is made up of different contenting sets of objectives and expectations and policies on how various actors have to behave (Dunne&Hanson | 2009). Now, while history has dominated the realist logic, it suggests one form of international conduct, different constructivists have argued that the interstate order has been expertly transformed through the emergence of different universal values (Peterson, Murdie&Asal | 2018).

In this regard, the protection of human rights consequently becomes important to moral importance within the modern states to the dominant rationale, which licenses the critical organization of authority and power in the territory explaining the sovereign units (Hobbes | 1651). Constructivist had argued that if states at any point reject the universal values outright, they will have to pay the price. This can take the form of exclusion, condemnation, or the possible coercive measures aimed a forcing the new standard of legitimate statehood.

Human Rights Importance in Multilateral Agreements and Treaties

After discussing the main principal theories of International Relations with regard to their implementation of Human Rights. There is a need to take a look at the actually implementation, which are multilateral and bilateral agreements between sovereignties and organizations. Especially because, the idea that multilateral agreements should be a subject matter to human rights has been gathering high momentum in the past few years (Zerk | 2019). From a civil society perspective, organizations, and human rights advocates, multilateral trade agreements have been seen as the possible way of enhancing the best human rights compliance by nations and implanting human rights considerations into law-making processes (Peterson, Murdie&Asal | 2018).

Additionally, this is seen as the best platform for proving vital stakeholder participation in ensuring a basis, where communities and advocates effectively engage in critical debates concerning trade agreements, in both national association and in general to trade agreements (Zerk | 2019).

The present scrutiny applied to different trade agreements by some local community establishment to the larger conversation happening within the United Nations agencies and other international succeeding connections regarding how to distribute the different benefits of globalization reasonably within the diverse states and groups within the community (Dunne&Hanson | 2009). Several commentators have recently pointed out at the recent political events and results of United Nations referendum and membership of UK, the rise of populist politics within Europe and in other nations as the critical evidence of backlash against globalization (Zerk | 2019). For instance, Congress has expertly shaped and guided the United States' responsibility in the present global human rights architecture, which grew pout from the destruction and atrocities of World War II. In 1945, the UN charter was signed and included the broad expression of support to human rights and the essential human freedoms across the globe (UDHR | 1948). Additionally, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the use of the non-binding Universal Declaration regarding human rights to explain freedoms and reasons on which the Charter defined (Zerk | 2019).

Since that time, the international community has hence built up a follow-up basis on this foundation and the development of a more compound array of enumerated and comprehensive human rights and a set of directives meant to promote and protect people (Zerk | 2019). As the main ensurer and architect of the international order, the United States of America have at different times led these efforts on bases of sovereignty and other concerns.

Different United Nations bodies have particular responsibilities to deal effectively with human rights issues. These UN bodies have been divided into treaty-based and Charter-based agencies. Treaty-based organizations are made from specific provisions within human rights (Zerk | 2019). In contrast, the charter organizations are made from the United Nations Charter, where they make essential critical decisions as per the majority votes (Baek | 2008). Nevertheless, these bodies are not the only United Nations institutions that handle human rights issued for organizations like the Security Assembly Council, sometimes perfume the role of addressing human rights. A total of seven significant international human rights treaties have been made and adopted by the General Security and Assembly council and have entered into force.

The scope of these established treaties is broad. It includes political and civil rights, economic, cultural and social rights, the rights of specific vulnerable organizations, and the rights against some forms of ill-treatment (Baek | 2008). Most of the human rights treaties made have established groups of independent experts who have been charged with the evaluation and monitoring of the treaty implementation (Krommendijk | 2015).

The bodies frequently make concerns, raise them, and continually make non-binding recommendations (Zerk | 2019). Some agencies are also concerned with the responsibility and influence of evaluating band monitoring the bodies on United States policies and laws (Zerk, 2019). Most ratified agencies have effectively questioned the total effectiveness of the organizations implemented treaties addressing the issues concerning human rights while noting the many nations with poor human rights records confirmed with the conventions less taking actions to increase the human rights conditions (Neumayer | 2005).

Regional human rights bodies and systems have developed and established through the regional intergovernmental and membership organizations (Connors | 2000). The American State, for example, has affirmed the human rights norms in its Charter and in the greater regional treaties (Zerk | 2019). National human rights systems have well been positioned in a manner to address localized human rights challenges. Nevertheless, the interests in actively promoting the concepts of human rights vary. In general, the regional companies in Africa, Europe, and the Americans are often the most active in issues concerning human rights (Baek | 2008).

Generally, the disagreements over the usefulness of specific multilateral rights mechanisms are effectively nested within the more significant debates over their effectiveness versus the bilateral diplomacy. This is because the actions in multilateral bodies typically need majority support or even on a consensus operating through the agencies (Baek | 2008). Many actors have currently been calling for more meaningful and more widespread and more formalized use of human rights effects on trade agreements (Zerk | 2019). There are three regional bodies which supervise human rights namely, European, Inter-American and African systems (Heyns&Viljoen | 2001). The contribution provides a comparative overview of the salient focuses and features on key institutional and procedural aspects of the system. An example of regional human right control body is the European system, the European Convention on Human Rights, which is monitored by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

Networking between Human Rights and Economic Sanctions

These different Human Rights Control Bodies implemented a Systems which can be described as a Networking between Human Rights and Economic Sanctions, due to the fact that Human Rights are used to justify Economic Sanction and Economic Sanction are also used as a tool to enforce Human Rights (Heyns&Viljoen | 2001).


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The Role Of Human Rights In International Relations. Theoretical Implication And Networking Regarding Economic Sanctions
Bielefeld University
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Human Rights, role, sanctions, economic, Econmic Sanctions, Politics, politik, Sanktionen, International Relations, Menschenrechte, China, rights, United Nation, Global Politics, Globalisation, Globalisierung, Correlation, Theory, Zusammenspiel, Implementation, Durchsetzung, Policy, Policies, politikwissenschaften, Internationale Beziehungen, Networking, Zusammenarbeit, Netwerk, Theoretical Approach, Soziologie, Theoretical Implication
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Kolja Bockermann (Author), 2020, The Role Of Human Rights In International Relations. Theoretical Implication And Networking Regarding Economic Sanctions, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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