Human Rights

Authored by: Shannon L. Blanton , David L. Cingranelli

Routledge Handbook of American Foreign Policy

Print publication date:  August  2011
Online publication date:  April  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415800884
eBook ISBN: 9780203878637
Adobe ISBN: 9781135967352


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Through much of U.S. history, human rights concerns in U.S. foreign policy have been subordinated to traditional material-based conceptions of American national interests. Realist scholars and policy makers have eschewed the idea that U.S. foreign policy should be guided by what they have critically seen as “idealistic” or “utopian” humanitarian notions. However, the past few decades have seen the resurgence of liberal and constructivist thinkers touting the importance of human rights concerns, for both moral and strategic purposes, amid the growth in international human rights norms and activism.

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