Event Title

American Exceptionalism and the Betrayal of Human Rights

Streaming Media

Description

The United States has an ambivalent relation to international human rights law. While often eager to apply international human rights law to other countries, it has deliberately sought to minimize the impact of such law on its own laws and policies. Defenders of ‘‘American exceptionalism’’ often claim that the United States’ rich civil rights tradition renders international human rights law unnecessary. The ‘‘War on Terror’’ disproves this argument: legal exceptionalism was a major contributing factor to the United States’ use of torture after 9/11. The lesson of recent experience is that domestic human rights protections need international reinforcement.

About the Lecturer: Jamie Mayerfeld is professor of political science at the University of Washington in Seattle, with affiliations in the Law, Societies & Justice Program and Center for Human Rights. He is the author most recently of The Promise of Human Rights: Constitutional Government, Democratic Legitimacy, and International Law (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016). His other publications include Suffering and Moral Responsibility (Oxford University Press, 1999) and articles on various topics in political theory, moral philosophy, human rights, and international criminal law.

Document Type

Event

Start Date

27-4-2016 12:00 PM

End Date

27-4-2016 1:15 PM

Location

Fairhaven College Auditorium

Resource Type

Moving image

Title of Series

World Issues Forum

Genre/Form

lectures

Keywords

Human rights, American exceptionalism, War on Terror

Rights

This resources is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws.

Language

English

Format

video/mp4

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Apr 27th, 12:00 PM Apr 27th, 1:15 PM

American Exceptionalism and the Betrayal of Human Rights

Fairhaven College Auditorium

The United States has an ambivalent relation to international human rights law. While often eager to apply international human rights law to other countries, it has deliberately sought to minimize the impact of such law on its own laws and policies. Defenders of ‘‘American exceptionalism’’ often claim that the United States’ rich civil rights tradition renders international human rights law unnecessary. The ‘‘War on Terror’’ disproves this argument: legal exceptionalism was a major contributing factor to the United States’ use of torture after 9/11. The lesson of recent experience is that domestic human rights protections need international reinforcement.

About the Lecturer: Jamie Mayerfeld is professor of political science at the University of Washington in Seattle, with affiliations in the Law, Societies & Justice Program and Center for Human Rights. He is the author most recently of The Promise of Human Rights: Constitutional Government, Democratic Legitimacy, and International Law (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016). His other publications include Suffering and Moral Responsibility (Oxford University Press, 1999) and articles on various topics in political theory, moral philosophy, human rights, and international criminal law.