Speaking Rights to Power: Constructing Political Will

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OUP USA, Sep 19, 2013 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 252 pages
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How can "Speaking Rights to Power" construct political will to respond to human rights abuse worldwide? Examining dozens of cases of human rights campaigns, this book shows how carefully crafted communications build recognition, solidarity, and social change. Alison Brysk presents an innovative analysis of the politics of persuasion, based in the strategic use of voice, framing, media, protest performance, and audience bridging. Building on twenty years of research on five continents, this comprehensive study ranges from Aung San Suu Kyi to Anna Hazare, from Congo to Colombia, and from the Arab Spring to Pussy Riot. It includes both well-chronicled campaigns, such as the struggle to end violence against women, as well as lesser-known efforts, including inter-ethnic human rights alliances in the U.S. Brysk compares relatively successful human rights campaigns with unavailing struggles. Grounding her analysis in the concrete practice of human rights campaigns, she lays out testable strategic guidance for human rights advocates. Speaking Rights to Power addresses cutting edge debates on human rights and the ethic of care, cosmopolitanism, charismatic leadership, communicative action and political theater, and the role of social media. It draws on constructivist literature from social movement and international relations theory, and it analyzes human rights as a form of global social imagination. Combining a normative contribution with judicious critique, this book shows not only that human rights rhetoric matters-but how to make it matter more.

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Rhetoric for Rights
1 Speaking Rights
Attention Must Be Paid
Heroes Martyrs Witnesses and Experts
Framing the Claim
The Power of Performance
Is There an App for That?
Constructing Cosmopolitans
Another World is Possible

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About the author (2013)

ALISON BRYSK is the Mellichamp Professor of Global Governance in the Global and International Studies Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has authored or edited 10 books on international human rights. Professor Brysk has been a scholar and lecturer in Argentina, Australia, Ecuador, France, Spain, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, South Africa, and Japan, and has held Fulbright Fellowships in India and Canada. In 2013-2014, Brysk will be a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.