Rights in Progress. The Politics of Rights and the Democracy-Building Processes in Comparative Perspective

  • Lorella Cedroni


The aim of this contribution is to provide an integrated theory of human rights by showing how a progressive rapprochement between different positions and paradigms is possible in terms of theory and practice. I will focus on the success (or failure) of the politics of human rights in bringing about social change within those countries where the democracy-building process is going on, showing in particular, how economic, cultural, and political rights of minorities are implemented.

Human rights in democratization processes play a vital role in setting up transitional justice mechanism, establishing the rule of law and monitoring democratic procedures. They are an explicit goal for democracy-building processes, and the move from formal rights to the enjoyment of rights is often uneven. The establishment of the rule of law and the acknowledgement of human rights in countries in transition in Eastern and Central Europe as well as in Latin America and Africa will be examined, showing the role that politics plays in generating them, and analyzing the strategies that are currently being advocated to more effectively reduce the high level of human rights violations.


Income Inequality Universal Declaration African State Development Cooperation Fundamental Freedom 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Amnesty International Report. 2010. The state of the world’s human rights. Human Rights Watch, World Report 2010.Google Scholar
  2. Beetham, D. 1999. Human rights and democracy. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  3. Carrillo-Flórez, F., and D.P. Petri. 2009. Quality of democracy and parliamentary reform in Latin America: How Europe can help. Stockholm: International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.Google Scholar
  4. Cassese, A. 1990. Human rights in a changing world. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Council of Europe. 2010. Yearbook of the European convention on human rights. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.Google Scholar
  6. European Commission. European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR). Strategy Paper 2011–2013. Available at
  7. Galtung, J. 1994. Human rights in another key. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  8. Galtung, J. 1996. Peace by peaceful means: Peace and conflicts, development and civilization. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  9. Hankin, L. 1990. The age of rights. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Hivos Human Rights Policy Document. 2002. Available at…/Policy%20Human%20Rights.pdf
  11. Kent, G., and J. Ziegler. 2005. Freedom from want: The human right to adequate food. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Landman, T., and M. Larizza. 2009. Inequality and human rights: Who controls what, when, and how. International Studies Quarterly 53(3): 715–736.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Løvåsen, L. 2010. Improving human rights and development. Available at
  14. Report on Democracy in Development: Global Consultation on the EU’s Role in Democracy Building, Idea: International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. 2009. Available at
  15. Us Department of State: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. 2009. Country reports on human rights practices. Washington, D.C: US Department of State: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, March 2010.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Political ScienceUniversity of Rome “La Sapienza”RomeItaly

Personalised recommendations