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The discussion of group rights, while always a part of the human rights discourse, has been gaining importance in the past decade. This discussion, which remains fundamental to a full realisation by the international community of its international human rights goals, requires careful analysis and empirical research.
The present volume offers a great deal of material for both. It makes a strong case in favour of a multidisciplinary approach to human rights and explores the origins and social, anthropological and legal/political dimensions of human rights and internationally recognised group rights. It explores legal issues such as the reservations to international treaties and methodological questions, including the question of deliberative processes which allow seemingly absolute requirements of human rights to be reconciled with culturally sensitive norms prevailing within various groups.
The discussion continues by looking at specific contexts, including the situations of women, school communities, ethnic and linguistic minorities, migrant communities and impoverished groups. The final part of the volume examines the 'state of play' of human rights and group rights in international law, in international relations and in the context of internationally sponsored development policies. Here the authors offer a meticulous and critical presentation of the legal regulation of human rights and group rights and point to numerous weaknesses which continue to exist and which call for additional work by legal thinkers and practitioners.