The project proposes a new argument that the global expansion of human rights ideas and instruments has given rise to ethnic social movements in the post-World War II era. By focusing on global factors that circumscribe ethnic politics, which most existing studies have overlooked, my theoretical framework explains the global increase in ethno-political mobilizations. I compile a cross-national quantitative data set on over 300 ethnic groups and carry out comparative longitudinal statistical analyses to demonstrate the validity of my argument. I also conduct case studies of Japanese ethnic groups to clarify the mechanisms through which global human rights impact local ethnic groups: the purpose of the case studies is explicitly to illustrate the transnational processes that the comparative statistical analyses demonstrate. The findings will enhance understanding of contemporary ethnic politics, a pressing global concern for both industrialized and industrializing societies, and highlight the impact of global human rights on local politics.