By Alex de Waal
interpreting the effect of western mass tradition advocates, Advocacy in Conflict evaluates the successes and screw ups of advocacy campaigns and provides optimistic feedback of ongoing efforts. Alex de Waal makes use of high-profile case experiences, reminiscent of campaigns on the topic of democracy, human trafficking, incapacity rights, and land rights to problem the assumptions and agendas that advocacy organisations perpetuate.
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Extra resources for Advocacy in Conflict: Critical Perspectives on Transnational Activism
A second key issue that defined international human rights organizations during the 1990s was humanitarian intervention in response to mass atrocity. The elections of Bill Clinton and Tony 34 | two Blair marked the ascendancy of a new generation, with closer links to domestic social movements and a deeper commitment to human rights (in the case of the USA, including many who had been in government under President Jimmy Carter). The post-Cold War years witnessed mass atrocities in former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and calls for military-humanitarian intervention in both.
However, by transforming Suu Kyi into an international celebrity and promoting her NLD as the principal agent of change, transnational activist groups became inflexible and unable to respond to changing realities. Their unconditional support for Aung San Suu Kyi allowed Western (primarily American) actors to selectively amplify a singular Burmese narrative, thus isolating other aspects of a complex Burmese political struggle. When political change did finally come, in a much-changed international context, the singular narrative impeded effective response to the challenges of peace, democracy and human rights in the country.
The internal contradictions in the communist bloc proved more life-threatening to the Soviet rulers than were double standards to the Americans, because the Soviet system was unable to acknowledge them, respond to them and accommodate them. The peaceful end of European communism was one of the great victories of social movements led by Solidarity in Poland, the churches and organizations such as Helsinki Citizens’ Assemblies in various countries. The dissident movement was also a cultural movement, claiming the right to watch contemporary films and listen to rock music.