Books - Human Rights: Global injustice

The Guilt of Nations: Restitution and Negotiating Historical Injustices by Elazar Barkan, published by Norton 2000

The World Today
2 minute READ

Simon Reich

Director of Research at Chatham House, University of Pittersburgh

Globalisation became a favoured buzzword in the late twentieth century and shows resilience and stamina as the new century dawns. Often associated with economic processes of trade and investment, the application of the concept is perhaps amply demonstrated by a legal case involving the Ford Motor Company. In it, a Ukranian worker sought legal compensation for her employment as a slave laborer by a German subsidiary of an American multinational corporation in the Nazi period in an American court – over five decades after her incarceration.

The constellation of jusrisdictional authority and substantial legal questions raises the spectre of a challenge to sovereignty that perhaps encapsulates the flavour of globalisation far more vividly than any a chart depicting trade or investment flows.

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