As part of the weekly history seminar sponsored jointly by the National History Center (an initiative of the American Historical Association) and the Woodrow Wilson Center, Stan Katz discussed the historical involvement of the United States in the international human rights system as it emerged following the World War II. This is a complicated history, one of the apparent recalcitrance of the United States in the face of a growing international acceptance of the emerging system of human rights. For the historian, the challenge is to analyze the reasons for U.S. hesitancy and inconsistency, while at the same time evaluating the reality of a quite fragmented and sometimes illusory “system” of international human rights.
Stanley N. Katz is the Director of the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies at Princeton University. A past President of the American Council on Learned Societies, he is the Editor-in-Chief of the recently published Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History, he is Editor of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Devise, History of the United States Supreme Court.
The seminar took place on Monday February 1, 2010 at the Woodrow Wilson Center. The series promotes a discussion of ongoing and significant historical research and its relation to national and international affairs. Click here to see a complete listing of the schedule of speakers and topics, as well as videos of the presentations.