f_0018637_15961 - Beyond Exceptionalists and Opportunists:...

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The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations Beyond Exceptionalists and Opportunists: A Proposition for an Unbiased Human Rights Diplomacy by Michele Acuto T he issue of human rights strikes at the heart of global socio-political discourse, and assumes crucial relevance for diplomacy when considered with contemporary tendencies such as globalization, homogenization of cultures, and the rise of nationalism. Arguably, the most important role of diplomats is to assure peaceful interactions between actors in the international system, and prevent conflict amongst these actors, rather than merely promoting one’s national interests at the detriment of peace. If this is truly the case, then the survival of the core element that ultimately constitutes such a system—humankind—is a key concern of diplomacy. Hence, the living conditions of the 6.6 billion individuals that inhabit the Earth, and their fundamental rights, must be seriously considered in mediation agendas of the third millennium. For this reason, human rights and diplomacy can be described as deeply interconnected in current global trends. Presently, the international system faces two antithetical transnational forces. On one hand, there is globalization, the increasing interdependence and integration of socio-economic activities across the world, 1 and on the other, a prevalent rise in nationalist and sovereign claims emerging as a backlash to the growing net of transnational relations. States and local communities have reacted with ‘isolationist’ policies to the perceived westernization of their core elements, and an apparent neo-colonialist impetus aimed at global homologation. This is now widespread not only in non-Western contexts, but within the West, with calls from many sides—including academia and the media—to respect local cultures and avoid imperialism. Similarly, Western personalities, such as former US permanent representative to the UN Jeane Kirkpatrick, have rejected the idea that such interdependence can assume universal and a-cultural connotations, pointing out that Michele Acuto is affiliated with the Australian National University and specializes in diplomacy, critical security, and globalization. 111 States, which were the predominant force in this framework during the Cold War, must now consider the role of civil society and supranational institutions that promote fundamental freedoms across the globe.
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ACUTO The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations moral equivalence between different units of the system is simply an “unrealizable myth.” 2 Within this international landscape, an individualization 3 dynamic has reached its peak in the post-Cold War period, as demonstrated by Thomas Franck. According to Franck, individuals now have more than one social affiliation, and their affiliative choices are taken increasingly autonomously. 4
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course INTERNATIO 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '09 term at Boise State.

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f_0018637_15961 - Beyond Exceptionalists and Opportunists:...

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