It is a commonplace to recall that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) integrated civil and political rights (CPR) with economic, social, and cultural rights (ESCR), and that the two International Covenants separated them.
Reflecting Cold War divisions, stress on one or the other of these two traditional categories tended to reveal preferences for neoliberal or social democratic understandings of human rights, when it was not more blatantly reflective of competition between the NATO and Warsaw Pact (plus "Non-Aligned") countries, a sort of North–West vs. East–South ideological split. This article explores how the separation of categories of rights has lost its pertinence in the first decade of the 21st century. My purpose is to show how the separation into two categories is perhaps a convenient taxonomy for some, but subject to serious challenge from the perspectives of political history, the theory of rights, and contemporary policy.
In Human Rights Obligations of Non-State Actors, Andrew Clapham wrote,"Perhaps the most obvious threat to human rights has come from the inability
of people to achieve access to expensive medicine, particularly in the
context of HIV and AIDS." He was referring to threats to human rights
from intellectual property agreements under the World Trade Organization,
which are often seen as obeying a different—and many would say utterly
incompatible—logic than human rights. The right to health, in the
interpretation of the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights,
means that "States Parties ... have a duty to prevent unreasonably high
costs for access to essential medicines."
In 1700, Latin America and British North America were roughly equal in economic terms. Yet over the next three centuries, the United States gradually pulled away from Latin America, and today the gap between the two is huge. Why did this happen? Was it culture? Geography? Economic policies? Natural resources? Differences in political development? The question has occupied scholars for decades, and the debate remains a hot one.
In Falling Behind, Francis Fukuyama gathers together some of the world's leading scholars on the subject to explain the nature of the gap and how it came to be. Tracing the histories of development over the past four hundred years and focusing in particular on the policies of the last fifty years, the contributors conclude that while many factors are important, economic policies and political systems are at the root of the divide. While the gap is deeply rooted in history, there have been times when it closed a bit as a consequence of policies chosen in places ranging from Chile to Argentina. Bringing to light these policy success stories, Fukuyama and the contributors offer a way forward for Latin American nations and improve their prospects for economic growth and stable political development.
Given that so many attribute the gap to either vast cultural differences or the consequences of U.S. economic domination, Falling Behind is sure to stir debate. And, given the pressing importance of the subject in light of economic globalization and the immigration debate, its expansive, in-depth portrait of the hemisphere's development will be a welcome intervention in the conversation.
The purpose of this chapter is to explore how the three concepts of human rights, health and human development have been defined and linked and what implications these linkages have for international policy and practices of international organizations. At the conceptual level, the definitions of development, health and human rights are virtually identical and widely accepted in the abstract. However, even at such a high level of abstraction, distinctions can be made.
Exchange rates powerfully affect cross-border economic transactions. Trade, investment, finance, tourism, migration, and more are all profoundly influenced by international monetary policies. Many developing-country governments have searched for alternatives to the uncertainty that can prevail on international currency markets. Policy entrepreneurs have rushed to peddle currency nostrums, urging a turn toward dollarization, managed floating, nominal anchors, target bands, or other options.
There are both theoretical and empirical reasons to expect globalization to heighten the importance of the exchange rate. Theoretically, open-economy macroeconomic principles imply that capital mobility profoundly affects exchange rate policy choices. As Robert Mundell showed more than forty years ago, the government of a financially integrated economy faces a choice between monetary policy autonomy and a fixed exchange rate (Mundell 1963). If the government opts for a fixed rate, capital mobility makes impossible a monetary stance different from that of the anchor currency; alternatively, if the government opts to sustain an independent monetary policy, it must allow the currency to move. These constraints mean that the economics and politics of monetary and exchange rate policy are likely to be very different in an economy that is financially open than in an economy that is not. By the same token, inasmuch as international economic integration involves increased exposure to international financial and commercial flows, it heightens the concerns of those involved in or exposed to international trade and finance. In a relatively closed economy, few economic actors care about currency movements. But as economies become “globalized” more firms, investors, and workers find their fortunes linked to the exchange rate, and to its impact on trade and financial flows. This concentrates attention on the exchange rate.