chapter  29
Human Rights
ByShannon L. Blanton, David L. Cingranelli
Pages 14

Through much of U.S. history, human rights concerns in U.S. foreign policy have been subordinated to traditional material-based conceptions of American national interests. Realist scholars and policy makers have eschewed the idea that U.S. foreign policy should be guided by what they have critically seen as “idealistic” or “utopian” humanitarian notions. However, the past few decades have seen the resurgence of liberal and constructivist thinkers touting the importance of human rights concerns, for both moral and strategic purposes, amid the growth in international human rights norms and activism.