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Human Rights Interventions

The Mass Appeal of Human Rights

Authors: Pruce, Joel

  • Investigate the origins and the impacts of the dominant paradigm for transnational advocacy, inspired by critical theory of the Frankfurt School
  • Spans many of the major global flashpoints of the past forty years
  • Details how human rights organizations utilized devices to raise awareness among ordinary people so as to promote fundraising efforts, build public enthusiasm, and motivate political will
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Buy this book

eBook $59.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-92075-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $74.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-92074-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book narrates the integration of consumer culture into transnational human rights advocacy and explores its political impact. By examining tactics that include benefit concerts, graphic imagery of suffering, and branded outreach campaigns, the book details the evolution of human rights into a mainstream moral cause. Drawing inspiration from the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, the author argues that these strategies are effective in attracting masses of supporters but weaken the viability of human rights by commodifying its practices. Consumer capitalism co-opts the public’s moral awakening and transforms its desire for global engagement into components of a lifestyle expressed through market transactions and commercial relationships, rather than political commitments. Reclaiming human rights as a subversive idea can reconnect the practice of human rights with its principles and generate a movement bound to the radical spirit of human rights.

About the authors

Joel R. Pruce is Assistant Professor of Human Rights Studies at the University of Dayton, USA. 

Reviews

Mass Appeals is a ground-breaking book that analyzes the emancipatory potential as well as the limits of transnational strategies for outreach, advocacy, and mobilization in the human rights front. For transnational human rights advocacy to be fully effective and legitimate, the means and the ends of such advocacy programs have to be emancipatory in terms of its politics. This book is written in an engaging, clear, and effective way. Highly recommended!” (Salvador Santino Fulo Regilme Jr., University Lecturer of International Studies, Institute for History, Leiden University, Netherlands)

“In a voice that is simultaneously courageous and engaging, Pruce offers a timely, necessary, and highly original contribution to the field of human rights. Far from seeing human rights’ emergence into the pop cultural sphere as a sign that it has gained normative currency, Pruce cautions that this process has wrought a hollowing out of the moral power of rights discourse. Engaging with provocative theoretical interventions, while anchored in unprecedented interview data, this is an important work and essential reading for human rights scholars and practitioners alike.” (Bethany Barratt, Professor of Political Science, Roosevelt University, USA, and Director of the Joseph Loundy Human Rights Project)

“Joel R. Pruce’s new book critically examines how human rights organizations and advocates interact with potential supporters. By highlighting the precarious position advocates often find themselves in with distracted publics, Pruce’s study pushes research in this area in new—and more realistic—directions.  The book is a must-read for both scholars and advocates and will become a classic on syllabi in this area.” (Amanda Murdie, Dean Rusk Scholar of International Relations and Professor of International Affairs, University of Georgia, USA)

“At a time when the liberal human rights agenda is under threat, Joel Pruce provides an incisive critical reflection on how that agenda became infused by the methods and norms of marketized consumerism, concluding with a call for human rights to return to its radical, subversive agenda. An important and discomfiting book.” (Alex de Waal, Executive Director, World Peace Foundation, USA)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

  • Introduction: “You, Elie Wiesel, and Paris Hilton”

    Pruce, Joel R.

    Pages 1-7

  • Mass Appeals for the Rights of Others

    Pruce, Joel R.

    Pages 9-37

  • Benefit Concerts, Constituencies of Compassion, and the Culture Industry

    Pruce, Joel R.

    Pages 39-76

  • The Spectacle of Suffering, Transnational Witnessing, and Solidarity

    Pruce, Joel R.

    Pages 77-111

  • Bumper Sticker Advocacy and the Branding of Save Darfur

    Pruce, Joel R.

    Pages 113-155

Buy this book

eBook $59.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-92075-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $74.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-92074-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Mass Appeal of Human Rights
Authors
Series Title
Human Rights Interventions
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-92075-7
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-92075-7
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-92074-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 180
Topics