Jack Donnelly’s most recent edition of his well-known text, International Human Rights, provides an updated discussion of the evolution of international human rights since the end of World War II. Like previous editions, this book provides an accessible, relatively comprehensive, and self-consciously analytical treatment of the broad subject of international human rights. While the book is clearly intended for classroom use, and is indeed accessible enough to be understood by most upper-division undergraduates, it is not a “textbook” in the traditional sense, in that Donnelly is not shy about offering his own arguments and interpretations about a variety of controversial issues. Thus, while Donnelly makes significant efforts to be both accurate and fair, his treatment of the many concerns and controversies about human rights is hardly “objective.” Yet this feature is actually an important strength of the book, in that it transcends the pedestrian discussion of the “competing views” in certain debates and actually provides clear arguments that are intended to challenge the readers’ views on certain issues and provoke more critical and analytical thinking, as opposed to simply rote memorization and recitation of empirics. This goal is further advanced by Donnelly through the use of several thought-provoking discussion questions at the end of each chapter, which provide excellent points of departure for further discussion and debate in the classroom.
Heinze, Eric A.
"International Human Rights, 4th ed.,"
International Dialogue: Vol. 3, Article 16.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/id-journal/vol3/iss1/16