U.N. official and long-time law


  1. Philip Alston is an Australian U.N. official and long-time law professor at New York University. To use an idea of Joseph Lo’s, he certainly has “local knowledge” about the human rights situation in the U.S. Along these lines, please discuss two of the major findings in his report (other than the four mentioned in the 3/24 lesson plan). Furthermore, how does he discuss these findings in terms of human rights violations?
  2. Michael Ignatieff outlines three strategies of U.S. exceptionalism – exemptionalism, legal isolationism, and double standards – that he argues leads to the U.S. committing so many human rights violations. Please provide an example of each of these strategies – that is, where do we see them taking place in the U.S.? Furthermore, discuss which of one of the above three strategies you think leads to the greatest number of violations.
  3. The reading for today, by Jonathan Power, was about Amnesty International’s campaigns for human rights in the United States, starting in the 1990s. Some of these have yielded results, while others have not. If you were an Amnesty executive, what you would advise this organization to make its campaigns more effective? What would you change about its strategies, messaging, or operations?

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