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  • The Human Rights Field and Amnesty International

    Joachim J. Savelsberg

    Chapter from the book: Savelsberg, J. 2015. Representing Mass Violence: Conflicting Responses to Human Rights Violations in Darfur.


    This chapter provides an in-depth analysis of Amnesty International on the case of Darfur, illustrating an NGO fight to end impunity. Interviews show how Amnesty’s narrative resembles that of the judicial field. Respondents insist that justice, once achieved, will help reach other goals, such as peace. Relative unanimity in representing the violence supports the notion of globalizing forces, highlighted by the world polity school, but national conditions also color narratives, in line with recent literature on national contexts of INGO work and a long tradition of neo-Weberian scholarship. Amnesty workers within national sections are aware of their government’s traditions, interests, and policy foci when they seek to influence government policies. They are also mindful of nation-specific carrier groups, cultural sensitivities, and business interests when they attempt to mobilize volunteers and the public and raise funds. Such mindfulness—a precondition for effective work at the national level—resulted in variations in criminalizing representations of mass violence in Darfur.

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    Savelsberg, J. 2015. The Human Rights Field and Amnesty International. In: Savelsberg, J, Representing Mass Violence. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.4.c

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Additional Information

    Published on Aug. 27, 2015