History, International relations, Amnesty International, Amnesty International USA, Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, and International League for the Rights of Man
Using archival collections and published primary sources, this dissertation offers a bottom-up, social historical perspective on how several international human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the United States during the Cold War--the International League for the Rights of Man, Amnesty International USA (AIUSA), Americas Watch and Helsinki Watch--formed a transnational advocacy network that exposed abuses and shamed governments into ending them. It finds that a small circle of rooted cosmopolitans--a term used by Sidney Tarrow to describe "outsiders inside/insiders outside"--was responsible for the emergence of a movement during the mid-1970s that was centered in New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. The activists profiled here were not the powerful, but neither were they the powerless. They tended to be highly-educated professionals who were drawn into activism after their moral sensibilities had been greatly offended. The emotional connections that formed between activists and victims thus arose within the historical context of intensifying market relations in this contemporary era of globalization. But why the spectacle of distant suffering drove some people to devote themselves to advancing the cause of human rights can be answered only in deeply personal terms. Biography is crucial to understanding how this transformation occurred for them: religious beliefs, a long-held cultural interest, a friend who experienced political repression and symbolized the plight of an entire country, previous work on domestic civil liberties, or their own victimization. Their worldview was based on a far-reaching conception of one's ethical responsibilities. As Kwame Anthony Appiah has argued, lives are given value by the identities that shape them--the philosophical basis of a cosmopolitanism that is premised upon "kindness to strangers." Activists proceeded in a similar path from an abstract notion of the rights-bearing individual to immersing themselves in the lived experiences of prisoners, dissidents, and other persecuted individuals they may have never actually met in person. Lacking the authority of state actors, activists had to act as moral entrepreneurs. Their social value was providing elites with information. The researchers who gathered the material for the reports published by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch became experts who were called to testify before Congress. Journalists quoted their findings to counter or corroborate the official version of events. NGOs also developed legal expertise that they used to expand the reach of international human rights law. As this subfield became more widely taught at law schools, some of which established programs dedicated to it, a generation of lawyer-activists took the international human rights movement in a new, more litigious direction. Publicity was just as important. It was easier to mobilize public opinion against repressive governments if the victims were well known; even better if activists became part of the story. By reaffirming their accuracy and objectivity, activists could gain the trust of reliable donors, philanthropic foundations, wealthy benefactors, and celebrities, all of whom became important sources of income that enabled their NGOs to expand during the last three decades of the twentieth century.
EXECUTIVE-legislative relations, INTERNATIONAL relations, HUMAN rights, INTERNATIONAL security, and LEGISLATION
North Korea provides a case study of the inherent tensions between the executive and legislative branches in the determination of U.S. foreign policy. Congress put various obstacles in the path of the Clinton administration's engagement strategy toward North Korea, anticipating some of the policy changes undertaken by the George W. Bush administration in its first term. Recent congressional efforts to inject the issue of human rights into the debate on U.S.-North Korean relations have the potential to backfire unless carefully implemented. Meanwhile, Congress has missed several opportunities to make a positive contribution to the ongoing nuclear crisis. This article will also look at the interest groups that have shaped congressional forays on North Korea and touch briefly on South Korean attempts to influence U.S. legislation on North Korea. Finally, it will discuss possible future struggles between the administration and Congress over North Korea and make recommendations for future policy initiatives. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
UNITED States legislators, HUMAN rights, FOOD contamination, and INTERNATIONAL relations
The article reports on the decision of the U.S. legislators to force Chinese officials to take action on issues on human rights crisis in Darfur, Sudan and contaminated food and feed from China. The decision has been made since China is focusing on its intervention to keep down the value of the yuan and economic irritants. Charles B. Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means said that the U.S. Congress has a unique role in the U.S.-China relationship.
The author expresses his belief that the administration of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama and the 111th Congress should change course on Indonesia and should place human rights at the forefront of U.S. policy because he thinks such would promote democratic reform and human rights accountability. He recalls the history of the relation between the U.S. and Indonesia. He describes the stand of Obama in terms of U.S. engagement in Indonesia.