Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Are human rights secondary to trade?
Author: Robinson, Kirsty Jane
ISNI:       0000 0001 3528 6633
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2004
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This thesis examines the relationship between trade and human rights under conditions of globalisation. To examine these issues this thesis addresses three main questions: under conditions of globalisation, how are trade and human rights related?; why have improvements in human rights not been forthcoming despite their position of prominence on the global agenda?; is the prioritisation of trade preventing the goal of achieving universal human rights? The first part of the thesis explores different theoretical approaches to understanding human rights. Much of the literature focuses on the expansion of the human rights regime based upon international human rights legislation. Whilst at first sight this approach appears to have generated great progress in guaranteeing human rights, it remains a state-centric, problem-solving approach that has not kept pace with changes occurring in the global order. Problem-solving approaches can therefore be seen to fail in acknowledging the significance of the increase in reported human rights violations by those non-state actors and institutions that play an instrumental role in the process of globalisation. A more appropriate theoretical framework to draw on is suggested by Robert Cox and other 'critical' scholars who seek to understand change though the interrelationship between states, social forces and world orders. The second part of the thesis applies this framework to documented examples of trade-related human rights abuses to assess whether the subordinate position of human rights is a result of the neo-liberal socio-economic and political context within which trade takes place. The values of neo-liberalism will also be assessed utilising Cox's theoretical framework in order to challenge many neo-liberal assumptions and allow an alternative view of trade and human rights to emerge. This approach suggests that current reliance on international legal responses to trade-related human rights violations in the period of globalisation fails, since it neither prevents future violations nor brings to account those non-state actors increasingly responsible for human rights violations. The conclusion reached is that human rights are indeed subordinated to trade and that the achievement of universal human rights will not be possible without significant change it many features of the existing world order.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available