Cover Page

Political Sociology series

William T. Armaline, Davita Silfen Glasberg, and Bandana
Purkayastha, The Human Rights Enterprise: Political Sociology,
State Power, and Social Movements

Daniel Béland, What is Social Policy? Understanding the
Welfare State

Cedric de Leon, Party & Society: Reconstructing a Sociology of
Democratic Party Politics

Nina Eliasoph, The Politics of Volunteering

Hank Johnston, States & Social Movements

Richard Lachmann, States and Power

Siniša Malešević, Nation-States and Nationalisms: Organization,
Ideology and Solidarity

Andrew J. Perrin, American Democracy: From Tocqueville to
Town Halls to Twitter

John Stone and Polly Rizova, Racial Conflict in Global Society

The Human Rights Enterprise

Political Sociology, State Power,
and Social Movements

William T. Armaline,
Davita Silfen Glasberg,
and Bandana Purkayastha



We would first like to thank all of the thinkers, teachers, artists, revolutionaries, students, activists, journalists, whistleblowers, agitators, and organizers – famous and nameless – who gave their lives and freedom so others could have a shot at a decent world.

This book is our attempt to place a critical sociology of human rights and sociological concepts (“human rights enterprise,” “human rights praxis”) in the canon of human rights scholarship. More importantly, this book is meant to inform a human rights praxis that might directly confront oppression and threats to collective human survival.

Very special thanks are owed to Roseanne Njiru and Erika Del Villar for their work copy-editing and compiling the index. If our work meets the critical standards of an academic readership, it’s because of their tireless efforts to clean and finalize our manuscript. Similarly, we’re indebted to our many reviewers for their guidance and constructive criticism. Scholarship should be tempered – worked and reworked for strength and aesthetic. This is never done alone.

On that note, we would like to express our endless gratitude to our editor Jonathan Skerrett and production editor India Darsley at Polity Press, and to copy-editor Helen Gray, for the editing, stewardship, promotion, and production of this book. We are fortunate to have met such fine, talented, and hard-working professionals in this process. Additional gratitude is owed to our friends and colleagues at San José State University and the University of Connecticut for their continued support.

We would also like to acknowledge our friendship and mutual support over several years working together on two books, journal articles, and several conference presentations. We have each become better teachers and scholars from our friendship, and highly recommend that others in academe take advantage of opportunities to do the same.

Davita would like to thank her ever-growing family: her children Morgan, Gillian and Scott, Irwin’s children Alan and Julie, Terri and Rich, Aaron, and Liana, as well as her grandson Scottie and Irwin’s grandchildren Jarrod, Sammie, Eli, and Jonah. They continue to inspire her, teach her so much about humility and humanity and all that truly matters in this life, and enrich her existence beyond measure.

Bandana would like to thank her family and friends across India, France, the USA, South Africa, England, and Australia, but especially Indra and Aheli Purkayastha who have to live through endless nights and weekends of work, and who continue to cheer every book and every achievement as they take on all the work left undone. A special acknowledgment of the memory of all the family members on whose shoulders she stands today.

Finally, William would like to thank his wife Nicole Steward and dog Chomsky for reminding him of everything worth living for. He would also like to thank Blake, Asa, and Donaisha for their laughter and joy.