The Conservative Human Rights Revolution: European Identity, Transnational Politics, and the Origins of the European Convention (Hardback)
  • The Conservative Human Rights Revolution: European Identity, Transnational Politics, and the Origins of the European Convention (Hardback)

The Conservative Human Rights Revolution: European Identity, Transnational Politics, and the Origins of the European Convention (Hardback)

Hardback 528 Pages / Published: 23/02/2017
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The Conservative Human Rights Revolution radically reinterprets the origins of the European human rights system, arguing that its conservative inventors envisioned the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) not only as an instrument to contain communism and fascism in continental Europe, but also to allow them to pursue a controversial political agenda at home and abroad. Just as the Supreme Court of the United States had sought to overturn Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, a European Court of Human Rights was meant to constrain the ability of democratically elected governments to implement left-wing policies that conservatives believed violated their basic liberties, above all in Britain and France. Human rights were also evoked in the service of reviving a romantic Christian vision of European identity, one that contrasted sharply with the modernizing projects of technocrats such as Jean Monnet. Rather than follow the model of the United Nations, conservatives such as Winston Churchill grounded their appeals for new human rights safeguards in an older understanding of European civilization. All told, these efforts served as a basis for reconciliation between Germany and the rest of Europe, while justifying the exclusion of communists and colonized peoples from the ambit of European human rights law. Marco Duranti illuminates the history of internationalism and international law - from the peace conferences and world's fairs of the early twentieth century to the grand pan-European congresses of the postwar period - and elucidates Churchill's Europeanism, as well as his critical contribution to the genesis of the ECHR. Drawing on previously unpublished material from twenty archives in six countries, The Conservative Human Rights Revolution revisits the ethical foundations of European integration after WWII and offers a new perspective on the crisis in which the European Union finds itself today.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780199811380
Number of pages: 528
Weight: 1048 g
Dimensions: 240 x 177 x 42 mm

The Panglossian account of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights - that it was essentially uncontentious and genetically British - is the orthodox narrative that the Australian scholar Marco Duranti sets out to deconstruct. His copiously evidenced account, drawn from British, French, German, Italian, Dutch and US archives, is that the convention was an individualistic and conservative project, devised outside the offices of governments and the chambers of parliaments and designed to stem the postwar tide of socialism and statism. * Stephen Sedley, London Review of Books *
Marco Duranti offers a refreshingly different and compelling narrative...It is a rich account, substantiated by an impressive amount of archival research. * Stefan Salomon, Human Rights Law Review *
The book is extremely well researched, and the writing is clear ... Essential. * D. P. Forsythe, CHOICE *
Marco Duranti's immense contribution is to get us to see that human rights cannot hover forever above history. His story of the origins of our human rights culture is as convincing as it is surprising. In questioning our assumptions about the European Convention on Human Rights, he pulls off that rare feat of getting us to think about what we know in a wholly fresh way. * Conor Gearty, author of On Fantasy Island: Britain, Strasbourg, and Human Rights *
Human rights history at its best. Duranti's well-written analysis of twentieth-century European internationalism is of lasting value. The insights into Euroskepticism that he provides could not be more timely. Necessary reading. * Lora Wildenthal, Rice University *
Marco Duranti's enthralling and meditative study of the origins of the European Convention on Human Rights is not merely a lesson in historical imagination, restoring Winston Churchill's role as the project's prime mover and detailing the importance of a fateful alliance of religious conservatives and free-market defenders in its origins. For The Conservative Human Rights Revolution appears at a moment when it is even more instructive and ironic, with the Tories Duranti shows were instrumental in the beginning in full revolt against their own creation. Students of the past and observers of the present will welcome Duranti's own creation with gratitude. * Samuel Moyn, author of The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History *
Required reading for anyone interested in the ideological foundations of the European Union. * Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann, University of California, Berkeley *
In this masterful - and timely - book, Marco Duranti plunges deep into rarely used archives to tell us the conservative origins of the European Convention on Human Rights. A magisterial and innovative piece of history that reshapes our understanding of human rights. * Patrick Weil, author of The Sovereign Citizen: Denaturalization and the Origins of the American Republic *
Ground-breaking ... radically new, thought-provoking * Patrick Pasture, History *
Marco Duranti has done outstanding work to present a nuanced picture of the origins of European integration ... the book is a must-read not only for historians of human rights, but also for those who are interested in the history of European conservatism and Christian Democracy as well as post-war European unification. * Vilius Kubekas, European Review of History *
Duranti resolutely breaks with existing ideas about the emergence of Europe's greatest achievements: the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the European Court of Human Rights. In spite of the general opinion among historians, he shows that the European human rights project was mainly brought about by contributions from European conservatives, including French Catholics and British socialists. * Boyd van Dirk, The Dutch Review of Books *
A masterpiece in the area of the history of the European Convention on Human Rights. * Laurens Lavrysen, Flemish Journal of Human Rights *
Marco Duranti's powerful and provocative account ... offers an analysis that is bound to be a key reference point in the field for years to come. * Richard Toye, Imperial & Global Forum *
Duranti's book is highly recommended, and, in my view, deserves the accolades and great recognition which it will surely achieve. It should influence debates on how the ECHR is seen today. * Ed Bates, Lawfare *
Europe's integration and its broader postwar reconstruction, some scholars now claim, were conservative projects, geared toward bolstering traditional social, cultural, and economic hierarchies ... The most ambitious and powerful study in this new wave of scholarship is Marco Duranti's The Conservative Human Rights Revolution. Duranti's sweeping political and institutional history reconstructs a transnational movement of conservative politicians and thinkers, who established the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the aftermath of the Second World War. * Udi Greenberg, Dissent *

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