Institutions Unbound: Social Worlds and Human Rights
Brunsma, David L.; Smith, Keri E. Iyall; Gran, Brian K (Editors)
Routledge, 2016

Institutions–like education, family, medicine, culture, and law–, are powerful social structures shaping how we live together. As members of society we daily express our adherence to norms and values of institutions as we consciously and unconsciously reject and challenge them. Our everyday experiences with institutions not only shape our connections with one another, they can reinforce our binding to the status quo as we struggle to produce social change. Institutions can help us do human rights. Institutions that bridge nation-states can offer resources, including norms, to advance human rights. These institutions can serve as touch stones to changing minds and confronting human rights violations. Institutions can also prevent us from doing human rights. We create institutions, but institutions can be difficult to change. Institutions can weaken, if not outright prevent, human rights establishment and implementation. To release human rights from their institutional bindings, sociologists must solve riddles of how institutions work and determine social life. This book is a step forward in identifying means by which we can loosen human rights from institutional constraints.

 


 

Expanding the Human in Human Rights
Brunsma, David L.; Smith, Keri E. Iyall; Gran, Brian K (Editors)
Routledge, 2015

The editors note that key sociological concerns—with groups, collective identity, social inequality and collective action—are having an increasing impact on human rights scholarship. Sociological work on the experiences of women, racial and ethnic minorities, children, LGBTQ communities, the mentally ill and others helps us understand the promises and challenges of pursuing human rights. This book presents fundamental insights gleaned from the scholarship on groups in society and demonstrates their relevance to the study, the understanding and ultimately the realization of human rights.

 


 

The Handbook of Sociology and Human Rights 
Brunsma, David L.; Smith, Keri E. Iyall; Gran, Brian K.. (Editors)
Paradigm Publishers, 2013

Link to Table of Contents

Link to Book Detail/Paradigm Publishers

 


The Rights of the Child

Gran, B.

In The Leading Rogue State: The US and Human Rights edited by Judith Blau, J., Moncada, A., Zimmer, C. and Brunsma, D. To be published by Paradigm Publishers

This chapter argues that the United States is a rogue state when it comes to children’s rights. The U.S. government is one of only two in the world not to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. What legal changes would need to take place for the United States to meet this Convention?


 

A Second Opinion: Rethinking the Public-Private Dichotomy for Health Insurance
Gran, B.
International Journal of Health Services 33(2): 283-313, 2003


Does the public-private dichotomy effectively describe health insurance systems in the advanced industrialized democracies? Is the boundary separating the public and private sectors accurate for studies of social policy formation and cutback? This article has three goals. The first is to discuss reasons for reconsidering the pubic-private dichotomy, as it applies to health insurance systems. The second is to offer a reconceptualization of the public-private demarcation useful for analyses of health insurance systems; the author presents four sectors that may illuminate patters of health insurance for different OECD countries; the social, individual, public, and market sectors. The third goal is to present results using a new methodological approach useful for studying complex social phenomena: the fuzzy-set approach, which allows researchers to treat social phenomena as partially belonging to more than one category. This approach is employed to demonstrate that health insurance provision rarely is solely public or private, but is formed by a combination of sectors. Underlying these three goals is the contention that comparative and historical sociological researchers can offer innovative approaches to the study of health insurance and the interests served by public and nonpublic health insurance programs through reconceiving the public-private dichotomy.


 

The Office of the Children’s Ombudsperson: Children’s Rights and Social-Policy Innovation
Gran, B. and Aliberti, D.
International Journal of the Sociology of Law 31(2): 89-106, 2003


A potential key to the future of children’s rights is the ombudsperson. In 1981, Norway became the first government to establish an office of a children’s ombudsperson, which has statutory powers to protect children and enforce their rights. This paper represents the first cross-national analysis of the offices of children’s ombudsperson. We employ Qualitative Comparative Analysis, which is based on Boolean algebra, to examine explanations why a national office of children’s ombudsperson has or has not been established in 193 countries up to the year 2000. Our research suggests social policy innovations responds to need and is contingent on country wealth, but is mediated by either strong political rights or subscription to international treaties. This work indicates future research should consider subsequent establishment of offices of children’s ombudsperson and the rights of children an ombudsperson seeks to enforce.