Sovereignty and Human Rights: Re-examining Carter's Foreign Policy Towards the Third World

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This analysis examines the evolution of Jimmy Carter's human rights policy towards the Third World during the course of his Administration. By exploring the impact of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Soviet-backed Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia, it analyses how Carter responded to international outcry by pairing sovereignty as a human right, which specifically appealed to the concerns of newly independent nations in the late 1970s. Carter's shift is explained first by a brief outline of his initial human rights policy and stumbling blocks; second, by examining Third World responses to the dual invasions; and, finally, exploring how this affected Carter's human rights policy. It moves beyond claims that Carter abandoned his human rights agenda as he encountered an increasingly volatile international environment, instead examining the very real ways that he re-imagined this policy in the face of a changing global landscape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-330
Number of pages28
JournalDiplomacy and Statecraft
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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