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  • American Mobilization and the Justice Cascade

    Joachim J. Savelsberg

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


    This chapter analyzes the position of the United States—its civil society and government—showing that they stood out in international comparison, seeking to advance a criminalizing frame for Darfur and a definition of the violence as genocide. Here the response to Darfur dramatized the conflict and advanced the application of the crime frame. Crucial contributors were civil-society groups, especially evangelical Christians, African Americans, and Jewish organizations, organized under the umbrella of the Save Darfur campaign. The George W. Bush administration followed suit, despite its opposition to the ICC, but under the pressure of civil society. Conditions for this transmission include the porousness of boundaries between civil society and the state in the United States. Articles in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, especially opinion pieces, reflect the consensus between civil society and the state. They highlight the crime frame, label the violence a genocide, and use dramatic bridging metaphors to shed light on the violence of Darfur by referencing past genocides, including the Holocaust.

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    Savelsberg, J. 2015. American Mobilization and the Justice Cascade. In: Savelsberg, J, Representing Mass Violence. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.4.d

    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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    Published on Aug. 27, 2015