ISA World Congress of Sociology, Yokohama, Japan, July 2014

Thematic Group on
Human Rights and Global Justice, TG03

TG03 main page

Program Coordinators

Number of allocated sessions including Business Meeting: 18.


For sessions program and schedule see

On-line congress program


Addressing Inequality before, during and after Difficult Times: Research, Intervention and Effective Outcomes

Integrative Session: RC46 Clinical Sociology, South African Sociological Association, Philippine Sociological Society and TG03 Human Rights and Global Justice
Not open for submission of abstracts


Competing Human Rights

Session Organizer
Brian GRAN, Case Western Reserve University, USA,

Session in English

Human rights of persons with disabilities, children‘s rights, older person‘s rights, rights of migrant workers and their families: this short list of human rights issues from the United Nations indicates wide variety of kinds of human rights that are both conceptualized and debated.

This session will present studies of how these rights can potentially compete and even conflict, as well as studies of how these rights do compete and conflict in practice.


Debating the Right to Development

Session Organizer
Mark FREZZO, University of Mississippi, USA,

Session in English

With the founding of the Thematic Group on Human Rights and Global Justice in the International Sociological Association and the Section on Human Rights in the American Sociological Association, the sociological analysis of human rights has been formalized as a distinct field of academic research. In essence, the nascent field explores not only the social conditions under which “rights claims” are made by aggrieved parties, social movement organizations, and NGOs, but also the “rights effects” – changes in state policies and laws – attained by popular mobilizations (and their allies) laying claim to competing interpretations of the human rights canon.

Accordingly, the field has moved considerably beyond its origins in the sociology of law by borrowing heavily from political economy (to illuminate the global economic circumstances that foment rights claims), social movement research (to elucidate the worldviews, strategies, and tactics of rights-oriented coalitions), and political sociology (to explain how rights effects are achieved by states). Arguably, the three emerging approaches converge on a pressing question (especially in the Global South): In light of the failures of developmentalism in its previous guises, what does it mean to proclaim the “right to development”?

This panel explores various attempts to extricate the kernel of development – the idea of planned social change to improve the material wellbeing of a society – from the pitfalls of positivism and economism, gender insensitivity, Eurocentrism and cultural exclusion, and ecological destruction. In the process, it examines development as a “rights bundle” that cuts across the conventional categories of civil and political rights, economic and social rights, and cultural and environmental rights.


Ethnic Groups in Civil Society: Globalization and Global Justice

Session Organizer
Akbar VALADBIGI, Yerevan State University, Armenia,

Session in English

Ethnic Groups in Civil Society: Globalization and Global Justice: Ethnicities and nations are nowadays engaged in identity-related issues and their subsequent challenges more than ever. There are various and contradictory insights on globalization, nation, and ethnicity.

This session seeks to discuss these subjects while holding a cultural view and go on to suggest solutions like tolerance, opportunity-making, paying attention to the elites, and maintaining plurality. Globalization has functioned as a double-edged sword; at one hand, it has promoted employment and increasing ethnic and identity diversities and movements; at the other hand, however, it has sought to equalize ethnic-identity relations, and create structural development in unsuitable patterns on consumption, conflict-making, cultural genocide, collapse of plurality and so on.

This session’s main emphasis is on cultural mechanisms and plural opportunities that can be considered as alternatives to mitigate destructive conflicts.


Global Justice and Women`s Human Rights in an Unequal World

Session Organizer
Manisha DESAI, University of Connecticut, USA,

Session in English

Recently, there has been an increasing disillusionment among feminists across the world about the promises of the human rights frame for gender justice in particular and global justice in general.

This session will examine the history and contemporary experiences of women`s human rights theorizing, practices, and organizing to understand this frustration and to reflect on the possibilities of recuperating the frame work for a global justice politics.


Global Perspectives on Transitional Justice

Session Organizer
Edward SIEH, Lasell College, USA,

Session in English


Grassroots Strategies for Enduring Repression

Session Organizer
Louis ESPARZA, California State University, USA,

Session in English/Spanish

Grassroots strategies for enduring repression: Most grassroots human rights activism exists in repressive environments. How do activists endure, and even thrive amidst hostility from de facto authorities? How are human rights interpreted, delivered, or asserted by the actors involved? Persistent poverty in the Southern hemisphere and increasing wealth inequality in the North has created a lack of confidence in the nation-state as the traditional guarantor of human rights. How have domestic and international actors met these challenges to renew our recognition of the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family?


Human Rights and Sociological Theory

Session Organizer
Bruce FRIESEN, University of Tampa, USA,

Session in English

Papers for this session should illustrate the unique ways in which sociological theory contributes to understanding the global human rights movement and the institutionalization of such values.

Macro, meso, or micro approaches from sociology or any of its subfields are welcome.


Human Rights: How do we Tackle the Problems of Indigenous Youth?

Session Organizer
Maria de Lourdes BELDI DE ALCANTARA, University of São Paulo, Brazil,

Session in English

The ongoing discrimination of indigenous peoples and their members, the dramatic and massive changes to their environment, the systematic violations of their rights and their powerlessness in the face of decisions that affect their development have, in many cases, led to unsustainable situations with traumatic consequences, both individual and collective. By virtue of their greater vulnerability, one of the groups most affected by these problems are children and youths; the disproportionate presence among indigenous children of the worst forms of child labour, forced displacement and migration, begging, academic failure, violence and other constraints all mean that special attention needs to be given to the situation of these indigenous groups.

In this session we intend to undertake an interdisiplinary analysis of these issues and try to understand the causes of these situations at the same time propose public policies that can help these people face up to these problems.


Humanism as a Main Instrument for Combating International Terrorism

Session Organizer
Viktoria ZHOVNOVATA, National Technical University, Ukraine,

Session in English

Humanism as a main instrument of international terrorism combating: An effective way to combat terrorist movement is the transformation of philosophical principles of social groups that are prone to social aggression. Only in this case an effective mechanism for ideological weapon capable of destroying the terrorist tendencies in the bud can be created in the territory where the centres of terrorist movement are located. For this purpose humanism has to become popular both at the level of an individual and a family (which is achieved by propaganda and education), and shall be supported by national policies (execution by the state of the declared set of rights and freedoms).

Humanistic traditions could then become an instrument for preventing the proliferation of terrorist ideas, when they become a part of citizens’ life philosophy. This, in its turn, is possible if they do not contradict human values, will be in harmony with the peculiarities of national development, and will be supported by the state policy.


Indigenous Populations, Human Rights, and the Global South

Session Organizer

Session in English

This session intends to present papers on various human rights related topics from the perspective of the global south. Throughout the world various regimes located in the global south have restricted and limited the human rights of the indigenous peoples.

It is hoped that papers can be presented that bring to light the key issues involving this problem especially in light of the acceptance of neoliberal principles that are affecting governments, markets, and a sense of social insecurity.


Reflections on the Right to Democracy

Session Organizer
Mark FREZZO, University of Mississippi, USA,

Session in English

To date, the subject of democracy has been explored primarily by philosophers and political scientists. Whereas the former have tended to analyze notable texts on the nature of democracy (particularly in the tradition of the European Enlightenment), the latter have tended to explore processes of democratization in the contemporary world (including the transitions from authoritarian to electoral regimes in Latin America and Eastern Europe). In light of their explorations not only of social movements pushing for greater popular participation and human rights, sociologists have much to contribute to the debate on the meaning of democracy.

Accordingly, this panel catalogs the contributions of sociologists to the understanding of democracy as a human right. In addition, the panel explores the impact of the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and a wave of anti-austerity protests across the world to the theory and practice of democracy.

Finally, the panel reflects on the question: What does it mean to proclaim the “right to democracy”? Drawing on SSF’s mission of marshaling sociological expertise for the advancement of human rights, this panel convenes scholar-activists to work through the interrelated debates on electoral democracy versus direct democracy, centralization versus decentralization, the role of state power, and non-Western models of democracy.


TG03 Business Meeting

Session Organizers
Ed SIEH, Lasell College, USA,
Brian GRAN, Case Western Reserve University, USA,


TG03 Roundtable I. Issues of Global Justice and Human Rights

Session Organizer
Edward SIEH, Lasell College, USA,

Session in English


Joint Sessions

Click on the session title to read its description.

Families, Structural Violence and Human Rights

Joint session of RC06 Family Research and TG03 Human Rights and Global Justice [host committee]


Human Rights and Clinical Sociology

Joint session of RC46 Clinical Sociology and TG03 Human Rights and Global Justice [host committee]


Human Rights, Family Roles and Social Justice

Joint session of RC06 Family Research [host committee] and TG03 Human Rights and Global Justice


Right to Benefits of Scientific Progress and its Applications

Joint session of RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology and TG03 Human Rights and Global Justice [host committee]


Temporary and Precarious Migration and the Securitized State. Human Rights, Culture and Belonging in an Age of Economic and Moral Austerity

Joint session of RC05 Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations [host committee] and TG03 Human Rights and Global Justice



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International Sociological Association
June 2014