THE SEDUCTIONS OF QUANTIFICATION MEASURING HUMAN RIGHTS GENDER VIOLENCE AND SEX TRAFFICKING CHICAGO SERIES IN LAW AND SOCIETY

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The Seductions Of Quantification

Author : Sally Engle Merry
ISBN : 9780226261317
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 46.4 MB
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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.
Category: Social Science

The Seductions Of Quantification

Author : Sally Engle Merry
ISBN : 022626114X
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 50.95 MB
Format : PDF, Mobi
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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.
Category: Social Science

The Seductions Of Quantification

Author : Sally Engle Merry
ISBN : 022626128X
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 64.21 MB
Format : PDF, Mobi
Download : 792
Read : 291

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.
Category: Social Science

Human Rights And Gender Violence

Author : Sally Engle Merry
ISBN : 0226520757
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 89.51 MB
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Human rights law and the legal protection of women from violence are still fairly new concepts. As a result, substantial discrepancies exist between what is decided in the halls of the United Nations and what women experience on a daily basis in their communities. Human Rights and Gender Violence is an ambitious study that investigates the tensions between global law and local justice. As an observer of UN diplomatic negotiations as well as the workings of grassroots feminist organizations in several countries, Sally Engle Merry offers an insider's perspective on how human rights law holds authorities accountable for the protection of citizens even while reinforcing and expanding state power. Providing legal and anthropological perspectives, Merry contends that human rights law must be framed in local terms to be accepted and effective in altering existing social hierarchies. Gender violence in particular, she argues, is rooted in deep cultural and religious beliefs, so change is often vehemently resisted by the communities perpetrating the acts of aggression. A much-needed exploration of how local cultures appropriate and enact international human rights law, this book will be of enormous value to students of gender studies and anthropology alike.
Category: Social Science

The World Of Indicators

Author : Richard Rottenburg
ISBN : 9781316395455
Genre : Law
File Size : 70.78 MB
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The twenty-first century has seen a further dramatic increase in the use of quantitative knowledge for governing social life after its explosion in the 1980s. Indicators and rankings play an increasing role in the way governmental and non-governmental organizations distribute attention, make decisions, and allocate scarce resources. Quantitative knowledge promises to be more objective and straightforward as well as more transparent and open for public debate than qualitative knowledge, thus producing more democratic decision-making. However, we know little about the social processes through which this knowledge is constituted nor its effects. Understanding how such numeric knowledge is produced and used is increasingly important as proliferating technologies of quantification alter modes of knowing in subtle and often unrecognized ways. This book explores the implications of the global multiplication of indicators as a specific technology of numeric knowledge production used in governance.
Category: Law

Research Methods In Human Rights

Author : Bård A. Andreassen
ISBN : 9781785367793
Genre :
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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.
Category:

Working Law

Author : Lauren B. Edelman
ISBN : 9780226400938
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 48.28 MB
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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.
Category: Social Science

Socializing States

Author : Ryan Goodman
ISBN : 9780199301010
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 84.30 MB
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The role of international law in global politics is as poorly understood as it is important. But how can the international legal regime encourage states to respect human rights? Given that international law lacks a centralized enforcement mechanism, it is not obvious how this law matters at all, and how it might change the behavior or preferences of state actors. In Socializing States, Ryan Goodman and Derek Jinks contend that what is needed is a greater emphasis on the mechanisms of law's social influence--and the micro-processes that drive each mechanism. Such an emphasis would make clearer the micro-foundations of international law. This book argues for a greater specification and a more comprehensive inventory of how international law influences relevant actors to improve human rights conditions. Substantial empirical evidence suggests three conceptually distinct mechanisms whereby states and institutions might influence the behavior of other states: material inducement, persuasion, and what Goodman and Jinks call acculturation. The latter includes social and cognitive forces such as mimicry, status maximization, prestige, and identification. The book argues that (1) acculturation is a conceptually distinct, empirically documented social process through which state behavior is influenced; and (2) acculturation-based approaches might occasion a rethinking of fundamental regime design problems in human rights law. This exercise not only allows for reexamination of policy debates in human rights law; it also provides a conceptual framework for assessing the costs and benefits of various design principles. While acculturation is not necessarily the most important or most desirable approach to promoting human rights, a better understanding of all three mechanisms is a necessary first step in the development of an integrated theory of international law's influence. Socializing States provides the critical framework to improve our understanding of how norms operate in international society, and thereby improve the capacity of global and domestic institutions to build cultures of human rights,
Category: Political Science

Revisiting The Law And Governance Of Trafficking Forced Labor And Modern Slavery

Author : Prabha Kotiswaran
ISBN : 9781108228732
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 70.9 MB
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In the decades following the globalization of the world economy, trafficking, forced labor and modern slavery have emerged as significant global problems. States negotiated the Palermo Protocol in 2000 under which they agreed to criminalize trafficking, primarily understood as an issue of serious organized crime. Sixteen years later, leading academics, activists and policy makers from international organizations come together in this edited volume and adopt an inter-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder approach to revisit trafficking through the lens of labor migration and extreme exploitation and, in the process, rethink the law and governance of trafficking. This volume considers many key factors, including the evolving international law on trafficking, the relationship between trafficking, slavery, indenture and domestic migration law and policy as well as newly emergent techniques of governance, including indicators, all with a view to furthering prospects for lasting economic justice in a globalized world.
Category: Political Science

Bodies Of Truth

Author : Rita Kesselring
ISBN : 9780804799836
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 89.37 MB
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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.
Category: Social Science