A World Divided: The Global Struggle for Human Rights in the Age of Nation-States

A global history of human rights in a world of nations that grant rights to some while denying them to others


Published (US):
Jun 1, 2021
Published (UK):
Jul 27, 2021
5.25 x 8 in.
12 color + 34 b/w illus. 2 tables. 22 maps.
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Once dominated by vast empires, the world is now divided into some 200 independent countries that proclaim human rights—a transformation that suggests that nations and human rights inevitably develop together. But the reality is far more problematic, as Eric Weitz shows in this compelling global history of the fate of human rights in a world of nation-states. Through vivid histories from virtually every continent, A World Divided describes how, since the eighteenth century, nationalists have established states that grant human rights to some people while excluding others, setting the stage for many of today’s problems, from the refugee crisis to right-wing nationalism. Only the advance of international human rights will move us beyond a world divided between those who have rights and those who don’t.

The complex origins, development, and meanings of human rights

Reaffirming human rights

A look inside A World Divided

Awards and Recognition

  • Finalist for the PROSE Award in World History, Association of American Publishers