The Seductions of Quantification

Measuring Human Rights, Gender Violence, and Sex Trafficking

Author: Sally Engle Merry

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226261140

Category: Social Science

Page: 272

View: 2953

DOWNLOAD NOW »
We live in a world where seemingly everything can be measured. We rely on indicators to translate social phenomena into simple, quantified terms, which in turn can be used to guide individuals, organizations, and governments in establishing policy. Yet counting things requires finding a way to make them comparable. And in the process of translating the confusion of social life into neat categories, we inevitably strip it of context and meaning—and risk hiding or distorting as much as we reveal. With The Seductions of Quantification, leading legal anthropologist Sally Engle Merry investigates the techniques by which information is gathered and analyzed in the production of global indicators on human rights, gender violence, and sex trafficking. Although such numbers convey an aura of objective truth and scientific validity, Merry argues persuasively that measurement systems constitute a form of power by incorporating theories about social change in their design but rarely explicitly acknowledging them. For instance, the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report, which ranks countries in terms of their compliance with antitrafficking activities, assumes that prosecuting traffickers as criminals is an effective corrective strategy—overlooking cultures where women and children are frequently sold by their own families. As Merry shows, indicators are indeed seductive in their promise of providing concrete knowledge about how the world works, but they are implemented most successfully when paired with context-rich qualitative accounts grounded in local knowledge.

The Seductions of Quantification

Measuring Human Rights, Gender Violence, and Sex Trafficking

Author: Sally Engle Merry

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022626131X

Category: Social Science

Page: 272

View: 353

DOWNLOAD NOW »
We live in a world where seemingly everything can be measured. We rely on indicators to translate social phenomena into simple, quantified terms, which in turn can be used to guide individuals, organizations, and governments in establishing policy. Yet counting things requires finding a way to make them comparable. And in the process of translating the confusion of social life into neat categories, we inevitably strip it of context and meaning—and risk hiding or distorting as much as we reveal. With The Seductions of Quantification, leading legal anthropologist Sally Engle Merry investigates the techniques by which information is gathered and analyzed in the production of global indicators on human rights, gender violence, and sex trafficking. Although such numbers convey an aura of objective truth and scientific validity, Merry argues persuasively that measurement systems constitute a form of power by incorporating theories about social change in their design but rarely explicitly acknowledging them. For instance, the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report, which ranks countries in terms of their compliance with antitrafficking activities, assumes that prosecuting traffickers as criminals is an effective corrective strategy—overlooking cultures where women and children are frequently sold by their own families. As Merry shows, indicators are indeed seductive in their promise of providing concrete knowledge about how the world works, but they are implemented most successfully when paired with context-rich qualitative accounts grounded in local knowledge.

The Seductions of Quantification

Measuring Human Rights, Gender Violence, and Sex Trafficking

Author: Sally Engle Merry

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226261287

Category: Social Science

Page: 259

View: 6385

DOWNLOAD NOW »
We live in a world where seemingly everything can be measured. We rely on indicators to translate social phenomena into simple, quantified terms, which in turn can be used to guide individuals, organizations, and governments in establishing policy. Yet counting things requires finding a way to make them comparable. And in the process of translating the confusion of social life into neat categories, we inevitably strip it of context and meaning—and risk hiding or distorting as much as we reveal. With The Seductions of Quantification, leading legal anthropologist Sally Engle Merry investigates the techniques by which information is gathered and analyzed in the production of global indicators on human rights, gender violence, and sex trafficking. Although such numbers convey an aura of objective truth and scientific validity, Merry argues persuasively that measurement systems constitute a form of power by incorporating theories about social change in their design but rarely explicitly acknowledging them. For instance, the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report, which ranks countries in terms of their compliance with antitrafficking activities, assumes that prosecuting traffickers as criminals is an effective corrective strategy—overlooking cultures where women and children are frequently sold by their own families. As Merry shows, indicators are indeed seductive in their promise of providing concrete knowledge about how the world works, but they are implemented most successfully when paired with context-rich qualitative accounts grounded in local knowledge.

Human Rights at the Crossroads

Author: Mark Goodale

Publisher: OUP USA

ISBN: 0195371844

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 5395

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Human Rights at the Crossroads brings together preeminent and emerging voices within human rights studies to think creatively about problems beyond their own disciplines, and to critically respond to what appear to be intractable problems within human rights theory and practice. It provides an integrative and interdisciplinary answer to the existing academic status quo, with broad implications for future theory and practice in all fields dealing with the problems of human rights theory and practice.

Laws and Societies in Global Contexts

Contemporary Approaches

Author: Eve Darian-Smith

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521113784

Category: Law

Page: 422

View: 1266

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Promotes a global socio-legal perspective that engages with multiple laws and societies and diverse socio-legal systems based on different historical and cultural traditions.

The Quiet Power of Indicators

Measuring Governance, Corruption, and Rule of Law

Author: Sally Engle Merry,Kevin E. Davis,Benedict Kingsbury

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107075203

Category: Law

Page: 369

View: 5398

DOWNLOAD NOW »
This highly accessible book investigates the rankings that increasingly influence perceptions of countries' governance and civil rights.

Governance by Indicators

Global Power through Quantification and Rankings

Author: Kevin Davis,Angelina Fisher,Benedict Kingsbury,Sally Engle Merry

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191632783

Category: Law

Page: 504

View: 6017

DOWNLOAD NOW »
The use of indicators as a technique of global governance is increasing rapidly. Major examples include the World Bank's Doing Business Indicators, the World Bank's Good Governance and Rule of Law indicators, the Millennium Development Goals, and the indicators produced by Transparency International. Human rights indicators are being developed in the UN and regional and advocacy organizations. The burgeoning production and use of indicators has not, however, been accompanied by systematic comparative study of, or reflection on, the implications, possibilities, and pitfalls of this practice. This book furthers the study of these issues by examining the production and history of indicators, as well as relationships between the producers, users, subjects, and audiences of indicators. It also explores the creation, use, and effects of indicators as forms of knowledge and as mechanisms of making and implementing decisions in global governance. Using insights from case studies, empirical work, and theoretical approaches from several disciplines, the book identifies legal, policy, and normative implications of the production and use of indicators as a tool of global governance.

Research Methods in Human Rights

A Handbook

Author: Bård A. Andreassen,Hans-Otto Sano,Siobhán McInerney-Lankford

Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing

ISBN: 178536779X

Category:

Page: 496

View: 3784

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Methodological discussion has largely been neglected in human rights research, with legal scholars in particular tending to address research methods and methodological reflection implicitly rather than explicitly. This book advances thinking on human rights methodology, offering instruction and guidance on the methodological options for human rights research.

Revisiting the Law and Governance of Trafficking, Forced Labor and Modern Slavery

Author: Prabha Kotiswaran

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107160545

Category: Law

Page: 534

View: 5950

DOWNLOAD NOW »
"Trafficking typically involves the movement of persons for exploitation for a third party's benefit. Inspired by the Palermo protocols, several states today criminalize trafficking, and it is perceived as an issue of serious organized crime. This edited volume brings together academics, activists and officials from international organizations who believe that the choice of a criminal law response arose from a particular alignment of geo-political interests of developed countries in the wake of globalization. Adopting an inter-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder approach, contributors to this volume instead understand trafficking through the lens of labor migration and extreme exploitation and consequently rethink both the law and governance of trafficking. This volume considers many key factors, including the evolving international law on trafficking, the relationship between trafficking and domestic migration law and policy, as well as newly emergent techniques of governance including indicators, with a view to exploring prospects for economic justice in a globalized world"--

Working Law

Courts, Corporations, and Symbolic Civil Rights

Author: Lauren B. Edelman

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022640093X

Category: Social Science

Page: 312

View: 1996

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Since the passage of the Civil Rights Act, virtually all companies have antidiscrimination policies in place. Although these policies represent some progress, women and minorities remain underrepresented within the workplace as a whole and even more so when you look at high-level positions. They also tend to be less well paid. How is it that discrimination remains so prevalent in the American workplace despite the widespread adoption of policies designed to prevent it? One reason for the limited success of antidiscrimination policies, argues Lauren B. Edelman, is that the law regulating companies is broad and ambiguous, and managers therefore play a critical role in shaping what it means in daily practice. Often, what results are policies and procedures that are largely symbolic and fail to dispel long-standing patterns of discrimination. Even more troubling, these meanings of the law that evolve within companies tend to eventually make their way back into the legal domain, inconspicuously influencing lawyers for both plaintiffs and defendants and even judges. When courts look to the presence of antidiscrimination policies and personnel manuals to infer fair practices and to the presence of diversity training programs without examining whether these policies are effective in combating discrimination and achieving racial and gender diversity, they wind up condoning practices that deviate considerably from the legal ideals.

The World of Indicators

Author: Richard Rottenburg,Sally Engle Merry,Sung-Joon Park,Johanna Mugler

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107086221

Category: Law

Page: 368

View: 9421

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Explores the proliferation of indicators and the resulting transformations in entanglements between social science, markets and politics in public life.

Islands of Sovereignty

Haitian Migration and the Borders of Empire

Author: Jeffrey S. Kahn

Publisher: Chicago Series in Law and Soci

ISBN: 022658741X

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 3665

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Introduction -- The political and the economic -- Border laboratories -- Contagion and the sovereign body -- Screening's architecture -- The jurisdictional imagination -- Interdiction adrift

Human Rights and Narrated Lives

The Ethics of Recognition

Author: Kay Schaffer,Sidonie Smith

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9781403964953

Category: Political Science

Page: 303

View: 7714

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Personal narratives have become one of the most potent vehicles for advancing human rights claims across the world. Human Rights and Narrated Lives explores what happens when autobiographical narratives are produced, received, and circulated in the field of human rights. It asks how personal narratives emerge in local settings; how international rights discourse enables and constrains individual and collective subjectivities in narration; how personal narratives circulate and take on new meanings in new contexts; and how and under what conditions they feed into, affect, and are affected by the reorganization of politics in post-cold war, postcolonial, globalizing human rights contexts.

Human Trafficking, Human Misery

The Global Trade in Human Beings

Author: Alexis A. Aronowitz

Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group

ISBN: 0275994813

Category: Social Science

Page: 285

View: 5937

DOWNLOAD NOW »
This volume takes a global perspective and uses first-hand accounts and stories to examine the problem of human trafficking in its various manifestations around the world.

Ranking the World

Author: Alexander Cooley,Jack Snyder

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107098130

Category: Law

Page: 256

View: 9195

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Examines the origins of the rise of international rankings, assessing their impact on global governance, and exploring how governments react to being ranked.

Control and Protect

Collaboration, Carceral Protection, and Domestic Sex Trafficking in the United States

Author: Jennifer Musto

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520281950

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 5282

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Control and Protect explores the meaning and significance of efforts designed to combat sex trafficking in the United States. A striking case study of the new ways in which law enforcement agents, social service providers, and nongovernmental advocates have joined forces in this campaign, this book reveals how these collaborations consolidate state power and carceral control. This book examines how partnerships forged in the name of fighting domestic sex trafficking have blurred the boundaries between punishment and protection, victim and offender, and state and nonstate authority.

Human Rights at the UN

The Political History of Universal Justice

Author: Roger Normand,Sarah Zaidi

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253000114

Category: Political Science

Page: 528

View: 7202

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Human rights activists Roger Normand and Sarah Zaidi provide a broad political history of the emergence and development of the human rights movement in the 20th century through the crucible of the United Nations, focusing on the hopes and expectations, concrete power struggles, national rivalries, and bureaucratic politics that molded the international system of human rights law. The book emphasizes the period before and after the creation of the UN, when human rights ideas and proposals were shaped and transformed by the hard-edged realities of power politics and bureaucratic imperatives. It also analyzes the expansion of the human rights framework in response to demands for equitable development after decolonization and organized efforts by women, minorities, and other disadvantaged groups to secure international recognition of their rights.

Biometric State

The Global Politics of Identification and Surveillance in South Africa, 1850 to the Present

Author: Keith Breckenridge

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1316123944

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: N.A

View: 8026

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Biometric identification and registration systems are being proposed by governments and businesses across the world. Surprisingly they are under most rapid, and systematic, development in countries in Africa and Asia. In this groundbreaking book, Keith Breckenridge traces how the origins of the systems being developed in places like India, Mexico, Nigeria and Ghana can be found in a century-long history of biometric government in South Africa, with the South African experience of centralized fingerprint identification unparalleled in its chronological depth and demographic scope. He shows how empire, and particularly the triangular relationship between India, the Witwatersrand and Britain, established the special South African obsession with biometric government, and shaped the international politics that developed around it for the length of the twentieth century. He also examines the political effects of biometric registration systems, revealing their consequences for the basic workings of the institutions of democracy and authoritarianism.

The Endtimes of Human Rights

Author: Stephen Hopgood

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801469295

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 614

DOWNLOAD NOW »
"We are living through the endtimes of the civilizing mission. The ineffectual International Criminal Court and its disastrous first prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, along with the failure in Syria of the Responsibility to Protect are the latest pieces of evidence not of transient misfortunes but of fatal structural defects in international humanism. Whether it is the increase in deadly attacks on aid workers, the torture and 'disappearing' of al-Qaeda suspects by American officials, the flouting of international law by states such as Sri Lanka and Sudan, or the shambles of the Khmer Rouge tribunal in Phnom Penh, the prospect of one world under secular human rights law is receding. What seemed like a dawn is in fact a sunset. The foundations of universal liberal norms and global governance are crumbling."—from The Endtimes of Human Rights In a book that is at once passionate and provocative, Stephen Hopgood argues, against the conventional wisdom, that the idea of universal human rights has become not only ill adapted to current realities but also overambitious and unresponsive. A shift in the global balance of power away from the United States further undermines the foundations on which the global human rights regime is based. American decline exposes the contradictions, hypocrisies and weaknesses behind the attempt to enforce this regime around the world and opens the way for resurgent religious and sovereign actors to challenge human rights. Historically, Hopgood writes, universal humanist norms inspired a sense of secular religiosity among the new middle classes of a rapidly modernizing Europe. Human rights were the product of a particular worldview (Western European and Christian) and specific historical moments (humanitarianism in the nineteenth century, the aftermath of the Holocaust). They were an antidote to a troubling contradiction—the coexistence of a belief in progress with horrifying violence and growing inequality. The obsolescence of that founding purpose in the modern globalized world has, Hopgood asserts, transformed the institutions created to perform it, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and recently the International Criminal Court, into self-perpetuating structures of intermittent power and authority that mask their lack of democratic legitimacy and systematic ineffectiveness. At their best, they provide relief in extraordinary situations of great distress; otherwise they are serving up a mixture of false hope and unaccountability sustained by “human rights” as a global brand. The Endtimes of Human Rights is sure to be controversial. Hopgood makes a plea for a new understanding of where hope lies for human rights, a plea that mourns the promise but rejects the reality of universalism in favor of a less predictable encounter with the diverse realities of today’s multipolar world.

Bodies of Truth

Law, Memory, and Emancipation in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Author: Rita Kesselring

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804799830

Category: Social Science

Page: 272

View: 9451

DOWNLOAD NOW »
Bodies of Truth offers an intimate account of how apartheid victims deal with the long-term effects of violence, focusing on the intertwined themes of embodiment, injury, victimhood, and memory. In 2002, victims of apartheid-era violence filed suit against multinational corporations, accusing them of aiding and abetting the security forces of the apartheid regime. While the litigation made its way through the U.S. courts, thousands of victims of gross human rights violations have had to cope with painful memories of violence. They have also confronted an official discourse claiming that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of the 1990s sufficiently addressed past injuries. This book shows victims' attempts to emancipate from their experiences by participating in legal actions, but also by creating new forms of sociality among themselves and in relation to broader South African society. Rita Kesselring's ethnography draws on long-term research with members of the victim support group Khulumani and critical analysis of legal proceedings related to apartheid-era injury. Using juridical intervention as an entry point into the question of subjectivity, Kesselring asks how victimhood is experienced in the everyday for the women and men living on the periphery of Cape Town and in other parts of the country. She argues that the everyday practices of the survivors must be taken up by the state and broader society to allow for inclusive social change in a post-conflict setting.