Nordic Histories of Human Rights

1st Edition

Hanne Hagtvedt Vik, Steven L.B. Jensen, Linde Lindkvist, Johan Strang

July 3, 2020 Forthcoming
Reference - 144 Pages
ISBN 9780367517625 - CAT# 379267

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This book explores the history of Nordic human rights politics and practices from the 1930s to present day. The authors use previously unexplored archival materials to bring to light how a broad range of Nordic actors have engaged with international human rights globally and at a European level and how these norms have been taken up and interpreted in the region.

Do the Nordic countries warrant the label ‘global good Samaritans’ in human rights promotion? Is the Nordic welfare state a close to perfect realisation of human rights norms? Or do Nordic international and domestic human rights policies constitute a peculiar ‘Nordic human rights paradox’ where norms are supported internationally while not being implemented at home? Are the ideals of the national welfare state and universal human rights compatible? In this book, the authors take issue with previous scholarship and argue for the need for careful historical investigations into how a broad range of Nordic actors have contributed to creating international human rights and how these norms have been taken up and interpreted in the region. This history is much more varied than what was previously assumed. The lack of prior interest in the region means there are several promising avenues for historical investigations of both the Nordic countries in human rights history and the role of human rights in the history of the region.

The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the journal, Nordic Journal of Human Rights.

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