The Image before the Weapon: A Critical History of the Distinction between Combatant and Civilian by Helen Kinsella
This book traces the concept of the civilian from medieval times through the colonial era and up to its eventual codification only a few decades ago.
Poverty and Morality: Religious and Secular Perspectives, Edited by William A. Galston and Peter H. Hoffenberg
Covering the six major religious traditions and such secular perspectives as classical liberalism, contemporary liberal egalitarianism, Marxism, and feminism, this book offers a valuable collection of articles for understanding the normative dimensions of poverty.
In this book–a tour de force that exhibits both a compelling, unified vision and a wide range of concrete insights–Forst explains how his unified theory provides a universal and indubitable basis for “constructing” human rights, by which he means both justifying them and generating their content.
In this book, Benhabib makes a compelling case for a “cosmopolitanism without illusions” that may help show the way through an uncertain world transformed and scarred by globalization.
“Global Civics” is an attempt to ignite a dialogue about responsibilities and rights in an increasingly interdependent world, and should be of interest to anyone who finds the ethical dimension in globalization neglected.
Humanitarian Negotiations Revealed: The MSF Experience Edited by Claire Magone, Michaël Neuman, and Fabrice Weissman; and Humanitarian Reason: A Moral History of the Present by Didier Fassin
These two recent works make a complementary and refreshing contribution to the burgeoning field of humanitarian studies. Both books shed new light on the authority that humanitarians wield as mediators of suffering, the relationship between humanitarianism and politics, and the nature of “humanitarian space.”
In the last years of the twentieth century, at least partly as a result of the end of the cold war, the language of universal humanity spread throughout diplomacy and international institutions. The cost of this has been the abstraction of political discourse, which has made invisible the reality of political choices: the way some will win, others lose.
Aryeh Neier has written a fluent and engaging history of the international human rights movement, of which he is a senior statesman. But his “history” is really a series of essays, only a couple of which offer deeper historical context for the American branch of the human rights movement—which Neier helped launch.