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Principles in PowerLatin America and the Politics of U.S. Human Rights Diplomacy$
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Vanessa Walker

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501713682

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501713682.001.0001

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The Politics of Complicity

The Politics of Complicity

(p.1) Introduction The Politics of Complicity
(p.iii) Principles in Power

Vanessa Walker

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of how different groups deployed human rights language to reform domestic and international power, which reveals the multiple and often conflicting purposes of U.S. human rights policy. U.S. Cold War policies were deeply implicated in the human rights violations perpetrated by many of Latin America's governments. This entanglement of U.S. policy and human rights abuses make the Western Hemisphere a critical site for the development and implementation of U.S. human rights diplomacy during the Ford, Carter, and Reagan presidencies. New human rights advocacy targeting Latin America in the 1970s not only sought to mitigate foreign abuses but also challenge Cold War relationships between the United States and repressive right-wing regimes, contesting presidential prerogatives over the very mechanisms of U.S. foreign policy making. Latin America is essential for revealing the uniquely anti-interventionist and self-critical elements of human rights policy that took shape at this time; it was at the core — not the periphery — of both U.S. domestic policy debates and the new international policies that reached far beyond the hemisphere.

Keywords:   U.S. human rights policy, U.S. Cold War policies, Latin America, U.S. human rights diplomacy, human rights advocacy, Cold War, U.S. foreign policy making, anti-interventionist human rights policy

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