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The Politics of Impartial Activism: Humanitarianism and Human Rights

  • Bronwyn Leebaw (a1)
Abstract

Humanitarian and human rights movements have gained influence as impartial ethical responses to injustice and suffering, yet their claims to impartiality are commonly dismissed as misleading, naïve, or counterproductive. To date, little attention has been paid to the very different ways human rights and humanitarian movements have conceptualized impartiality in relation to distinct and conflicting activist goals.Bronwyn Leebaw is Assistant Professor of Political Science, UC Riverside (Bronwyn.leebaw@ucr.edu). The author is grateful to Hanna Pitkin, Lisa Disch, John Cioffi, Mark Reinhardt, Jennifer Hochschild, and three insightful anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on earlier drafts of this article. In developing ideas for this article, she also benefited from conversations with Helen Kinsella, Mark Drumbl, Chandra Sriram, Eric Stover, Harvey Weinstein, Lon Troyer, Kateri Carmola, David Pion-Berlin, Chris Laursen, John Medearis, Juliann Allison, Victor Peskin, Ruti Teitel, Targol Mesbah, Helen Lennon, Tom Reifer, Dean Mathiowetz, and the graduate students at UC Riverside.

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