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CRM316 (International Perspectives) - Lecture 3

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CRM 316
Jennifer Fraser

CRM316 – Week 4 “Human Rights & International Law” th Monday, February 4 , 2013 --- History as a methodology: assumptions – history repeats itself, is usually written from the point of the victor/those with power, not as linear as portrayed (it is usually more fluid and more than just key points/events, it obscures the hidden evolution of what led us to the main events – what is going on in the background to help shape the intervention or law, etc.) --- What is Discourse? - “Language as a form of social practice” and social process (Fairclough, 1989) [we use it to define social reality but he states it helps us shape it] - Discourse as a part of social activity; in representations; as a part of ways of being (Fairclough, 2003) [part of social activity and part of being – text, written language, symbols, etc. – we’re talking about, thinking about, reacting to, etc.] - “Without discourse, there is no social reality, and without understanding discourse, we cannot understanding discourse, we cannot understand our reality, our experiences, ourselves” (Phillips & Hardy, 2002) *we’re looking for any hidden agenda/ideologies/connections they make – what is being said between the lines?] [ the key elements of discourse is the connection to power – who is allowed to participate/speak in certain discourses? Example: legal discourse – certain groups have more access to this discourse, which we can see with the legal jargon; one without the appropriate training may not understand the language/text] Power/Knowledge? - Power is EVERYWHERE, circulating throughout society [traditional notion of power: something that is concentrated within leadership or authority group such as the government, law enforcement; Fuko argues against this – people have power but exercise it in different ways, such as resistance, rallying, protesting, etc.] [More dominant discourses – legal discourse, medical discourse, etc. yet some people will resist these too, and there will be alternative discourses that try to assert their voices] - Power is mediated through discourse & “regimes of truth” [what is considered the dominant interpretation of that issue – example: in our society, we think that people who commit murder, they should be put away. This isn’t a fact of any sort, but we have made it as the appropriate response in our society] [certain knowledges/discourses are legitimized; dominant ways of understanding health problems = medical discourse] - “Regimes of truth” legitimize certain kinds of knowledge (e.g., legal, medical) “Are humanity, pity and conscience limited by nation or fatherland?” (Balakian, 2009) - Human rights are basic rights and freedoms that all people are entitled to regardless of nationality, sex, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, language or other status - Civil & Political Rights [right to life, liberty, freedom of expression] - Social & Cultural Rights [right to participate in social/cultural life, right to food & clean water] - Economic Rights [right to receive education, work, and to be paid for that work] [how to balance universal rights, in our perspectives with the different ideas of other countries? Or is it culturally relative?] Peacemaking Criminology - Intersection between criminology and human rights discourse - A pacifist critique of the structural violence inherent in retributive criminal justice policy and practice - Links the violence of war with the violence of criminal justice systems [it can be traumatic for those in the system; usually not rehabilitated or treated = “recycled” criminals+ - Example: “War on –“discourses *keeps reinforcing a violence solution, ex: “war on drugs”+ - “Human Rights” as rhetoric VS. practical interventions [trying to find less violent solutions – what can we do about our violent responses/systems, practically?] Problems with a “rights” discourse [critique of rights, from Carol Smart] - Oversimplifies complex power relations [everyone is granted human rights but how do we uphold that practically?] - Presupposes the appropriateness of a legal solution [if we complain about our rights being violated, we are saying it’s a legal problem when it in cat could be a social problem, etc.+ - “Resort to” rights can be countered with competing rights [using rights as a back-up; can be countered with competing rights] - Rights can be appropriated by the powerful [used as an excuse for more control over the population, or more surveillance – more surveillance can lead to more criminalization (ex: Jane/Finch area)] Human Rights in Context - International Committee of the Red Cross, 1863 [In 1929, developed red crescent to represent Islam religion and then red gem for Jewish reigion] [goal was to protect non-combatants not involved with the armed conflict such as refugees, prisoners, etc.] - Hague Conventions, 1899 &1907 [first formal statement of international law to regard war, war crimes, etc] - First Geneva Convention, 1864 [condition of wounded; guarantee protection for medical personnel and soldiers in the field who were injured in the field; banned certain types of warfare such as air-bombing, gassing, etc.] - League of Nations, 1919-1946 [created to prevent future World Wars; had 42 founding members/countries; seen as a failure since WWII, so formally disbanded and replaced with the UN] - United Nations, 1945 [had 51 founding countries/members] - UN Security Council [first session i
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