World Influences on Human Rights Language in Constitutions: A Cross-National Study

International Sociology, 2012, Vol. 27

30 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2013

See all articles by Colin Beck

Colin Beck

Claremont Colleges - Pomona College

Gili S. Drori

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

John W. Meyer

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

A recent movement has extended previous emphases on the rights of national citizens by asserting the global human rights of all persons. This article describes the extent to which this change is reflected in the language of national constitutions around the world. Human rights language – formerly absent from almost all constitutions – now appears in most of them. Rather than characterizing developed or democratic states, human rights language is, first, especially common in countries most susceptible to global influences. Second, human rights language is driven by the extent of the international human rights regime at the time of a constitution’s writing. Third, human rights language tends to appear in newer constitutions and in the constitutions of emergent and reorganized states. National constitutions are imprinted with global social conditions, which now stress the discourse of human rights.

Keywords: constitutions, human rights, globalization, world society, world culture

Suggested Citation

Beck, Colin and Drori, Gili S. and Meyer, John W., World Influences on Human Rights Language in Constitutions: A Cross-National Study (2012). International Sociology, 2012, Vol. 27. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2347676

Colin Beck (Contact Author)

Claremont Colleges - Pomona College ( email )

Claremont, CA 91711
United States

Gili S. Drori

Hebrew University of Jerusalem ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, IL Jerusalem 91905
Israel

John W. Meyer

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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