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APPLIED & PRACTICING ANTHROPOLOGY eJOURNAL
"We Built It and They Did Not Come: Using New Governance Theory in the Fight for Food Justice in Low-Income Communities of Color"
Seattle Journal for Social Justice, Forthcoming
NYLS Legal Studies Research Paper
DEBORAH N. ARCHER, New York Law School
TAMARA BELINFANTI, New York Law School
Food deserts and food insecurity have received considerable attention from various stakeholders, such as state and local governments, community organizations, and private sector institutions. These stakeholders have sought to overcome food insecurity by turning food deserts into oases by providing â€śaccessâ€? to fresh, healthy food. However, many of their solutionsâ€”building supermarkets and sponsoring farmers marketsâ€”have missed the mark. Residents of food deserts did not flock to grocery stores to purchase fruits and vegetables. As a result, many stakeholders blame the residents of food deserts for their own predicament, lamenting, to paraphrase Field of Dreams, â€śwe built it but they did not come.â€?
We proffer an alternative to blaming the victims. We consider that the problem is not simply that they did not come. Perhaps â€śweâ€? made incorrect assumptions about the barriers to accessing healthy food? Thus by neglecting the full extent of the problem, â€śweâ€? failed to provide meaningful access. In this Essay, we argue that interventions failed because we used a top-down approach that implicitly and/or unwittingly embraced a myopic narrative of food access that centered around problems of proximity. We then introduce the use of â€śnew governanceâ€? theory to contemplate what a more collaborative and inclusive framework would look like.
"Responsibility and Rights"
Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No. 2017-14
SERGIO DELLAVALLE, University of Turin - Faculty of Law, Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Goethe University Frankfurt - Cluster of Excellence Normative Orders
A new era of responsibility seems poised to overshadow the human rights discourse in international law. To be justified, however, introducing the perspective of responsibility must result in an added value if compared to the former predominant approach. In fact, however, some justifications are inconsistent and the most radical interpretations jeopardize the very core of the modern theory of social and legal order, namely the centrality of the individual. On the other hand, the incorporation of responsibility into the discourse on rights may help to overcome some of its most evident shortcomings. Nonetheless, despite some positive outcomes which the new attention on responsibility may bring about, the concept is flawed by at least two major deficits. First, the reference to responsibility tends to presuppose the possibility of taking the position of a privileged observer. This implicitly rejects the idea that the moral and legal community is essentially constituted by human individuals who freely recognize each other as equal members and rightful holders of entitlements. The second deficit is instead related to the intrinsically particularistic character of responsibility, which makes it rather difficult to apply to the field of international law and relations. An analysis shows that we are confronted with a conflict: while responsibility can, in fact, be assumed to bring an added value, the costs for this are exceedingly high, since they amount to no less than the abandonment of the core concept of modern moral and political philosophy. By recurring to the communicative paradigm of rationality and social order, a possible solution is outlined according to which responsibility is re-interpreted in the sense of a time-, space-, composition- and content-related expansion of mutual recognition.
"Contaminated Childhood: How the United States Failed to Prevent the Chronic Lead Poisoning of Low-Income Children and Communities of Color"
Harvard Environmental Law Review, 2017
EMILY A. BENFER, Yale Law School Solomon Center for Health Law & Policy, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Loyola University of Chicago - Stritch School of Medicine
Lead poisoning has plagued society for centuries, dating back to the Roman Empire. Children and adults exposed to the neurotoxin regularly experience an elevated risk for permanent brain damage, disability, and, at higher levels, death. Despite scientific evidence of the dangers of lead, the heavy metal was commonly used throughout civilization and quickly integrated into the American home in the form of paint containing up to 70% lead. At the same time, lead smelters and leaded gasoline left a toxic footprint across the United States. Today, over twenty-three million homes contain one or more lead hazards and thirty-eight million have lead-based paint that will eventually become a lead hazard if not closely monitored and maintained; the majority of those homes are located in impoverished and marginalized communities of color. Federal laws and policies have consistently failed to prevent lead poisoning in these areas, depriving low-income, minority children of equal opportunity and trapping generations in poverty. For example, federally subsidized housing programs are intended to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing for low-income families. These homes are often clustered in areas with high rates of lead poisoning and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimated in 2016 that 450,000 federally assisted housing units were built before 1978 and likely contain lead-based paint. Federal lead poisoning prevention laws take a â€śwait and seeâ€? approach that delays lead hazard inspections of a home until after a child is lead poisoned and does not require any inspection in private housing. Rather than requiring lead hazard risk assessments that could identify and control sources of lead poisoning before a child resides in the home, according to federal regulations, the child must develop lead poisoning at levels more than four times the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards before the government requires any intervention. This policy places millions of children annually at risk of permanent neurological damage. This Article describes how lead poisoning policies governing private and federally assisted housing perpetuate health inequities, increase socioeconomic and racial inequality among low-income and minority children, and thwart the promise of multiple civil rights laws and policies. It examines the legislative history of federal lead poisoning prevention laws, including compromises that resulted in ineffective laws, as well as the civil rights laws violated by the lack of primary prevention. Finally, with the aim of identifying policies that abide by principles of health justice, this Article proposes urgent reform measures to end the lead poisoning epidemic.
"Diversity and Decision-Making in International Judicial Institutions: The United Nations Human Rights Committee as a Case Study"
Berkeley Journal of International Law (BJIL), Vol. 36, No. 1, 2017
VERA SHIKHELMAN, University of Chicago Law School, NYU School of Law
The lack of diversity in the background of the decision-makers in international judicial and quasi-judicial institutions has been widely criticized in recent years. It has been argued that the background of the decision-makers is too homogeneous and not representative of the international community as a whole. However, there is little empirical evidence on whether the background of the decision-makers actually influences their decision-making processes in the international context. This article uses the United Nations Human Rights Committee as a case study for testing empirically the influence on decisions of geographical origin, gender, domestic legal system and professional background.
The article finds certain voting patterns that are associated with geographical origin, domestic legal systems, professional background and possibly gender. This is especially true in cases where the Committee Members (CMs) want to protect the interests of their states, since the most significant voting pattern was found for CMs from Western states voting in favor of states from their regions in immigration cases. However, it is safe to say that on most issues the article did not find that the background of the CMs had significant influence on their voting patterns. The article also uses the United Nations Human Rights Committee as a case study to demonstrate the importance of diversity to the legitimacy of international institutions, beyond the practical implications of diversity on the decision-making process.
"Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the Fight for Civil Rights"
6 Wake Forest J. L. & Pol'y 213
WENDY MARIE LAYBOURN, University of Maryland, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Department of Sociology
GREGORY SCOTT PARKS, Wake Forest University - School of Law
The narrative of African Americans' quest for racial equality and social justice in the twentieth century is typically construed in the context of main-line civil rights organizations -- NAACP, SCLC, SNCC, and the like. However, for decades, black fraternal networks helped lay the groundwork for the major civil rights campaigns that culminated in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Much of this history emerged from the efforts of the predecessors to black Greek-letter collegiate organizations -- black secret societies. Black secret societies were created in response to the racialization and racism experienced by blacks in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Blacks were subjected to legal, political, financial, and social exclusion, and this marginalization was institutionalized, which allowed for its perpetuation. As a result, black secret societies formed, not only as an act of self- and race-consciousness, but also to combat these oppressions.
Through black secret societies, members entered into a bond of brotherhood and built a community among themselves and around the goals of racial uplift. Whereas black benevolent societies and churches also provided support, a key element that differentiated black secret societies was their organizing body. With an organizational structure that included local, regional, and national bodies, black secret societies provided an infrastructure for long-lasting organizations and impact, along with offering leadership training. This structure also solidified its power, which yielded a strong political voice. In addition to political voice, black secret societiesâ€™ power in numbers and solidarity enabled uplift through a multitude of objectives, such as buying and investing in real estate, providing educational opportunities, caring for the most marginalized within their communities, securing home and life insurance, and training for business ownership. Overall, the goal of black secret societies was threefold: first, it provided deep personal ties among members; second, it addressed exclusion both from white fraternal organizations as well as society generally; third, there was a focus on racial uplift. The influence of black secret societies can be seen through Black Greek Letter Organizationsâ€™ (â€śBGLOsâ€?) organizational structure and purpose of providing support to members and the community-at-large.
"Universal Human Rights Education for the Post-2015 Development Agenda"
In Joseph Zajda and Sev Ozdowski (eds), GLOBALISATION, HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION AND REFORMS, Springer Academic Publishers, 15-33 (2017).
GILLIAN MACNAUGHTON, University of Massachusetts Boston
KONSTANTINOS KOUTSIOUMPAS, School for Global Inclusion and Social Development, University of Massachusetts Boston
Human rights education provides a unique approach to bringing the fields of law, education and international development together to work on the most important global human rights challenge of our time, the eradication of poverty. In the Charter of the United Nations (1945) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), nations around the world committed to promote education, human rights and social progress as means to eradicate poverty and achieve global peace. Since the turn of the Millennium, human rights scholars and practitioners have advocated specifically for the integration of human rights into the framework of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which set the international development agenda for 2001â€“2015. While they were largely unsuccessful in securing a human rights-based approach to the MDGs, the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which establish the 2016â€“2030 agenda, are more promising. In this context, this chapter proposes comprehensive universal human rights education during the compulsory years of schooling as an integral part of the SDG frame- work because human rights education is required by international law, it is effective in building a culture of respect for human rights and it will build bridges between law, education and international development communities toward the common aims of eradicating poverty, realizing human rights and achieving global peace.
About this eJournal
Supported by: American Anthropological Association (AAA)
This eJournal distributes working and accepted paper abstracts of applied and practicing anthropology studies, including studies that use anthropological theories and methods to address current problems, such as development, social justice and human rights, studies that are aimed at educating non-anthropologists and studies of anthropologists applying their knowledge in professional fields. The topics in this eJournal include: Theory & Method in Applied Anthropology; Topics of Concern in Applied Anthropology; Public & Practicing Anthropology; Negative Results - Applied & Practicing Anthropology.
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