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Contents copyrighted by Ole R. Holsti. He expresses his indebtedness to the National Science Foundation for five grants that supported the Foreign Policy Leadership Project surveys of American opinion leaders; to Eugene R. Wittkopf for sharing some of his data from the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations and Times Mirror surveys; to Robert Jackson for obtaining data on human rights issues from the Roper Center; to Peter Feaver for helpful comments on an earlier draft; to Daniel F. Harkins for programming assistance; to David Priess for research assistance, and to Rita Dowling for secretarial assistance.


1. For good discussions of the concept of human rights and the development of American human rights policy, see Donnelly (1985), Forsythe (1988, 1990, 1991, 1995), Fraser (1977), Jacoby (1986), Schlesinger (1978), Sikkink (1993), and Steinmetz (1994).

2. For example, this passage is quoted by Henry Kissinger (1994:35).

3. Morganthau 1978; Kennan 1985 86. According to James Billington, a human rights focus can serve to provide both the needed idealism or vision and realism for American foreign policy. However, he appeared to view it primarily as a Cold War weapon. After asserting that neither internal democratization nor imperial disintegration are likely to reduce the Soviet threat, he stated that, "Human rights provides a valuable vehicle for peaceful, evolutionary democratization throughout the communist world." Billington 1987:652.

4.For critiques of cultural relativism on human rights, see Emerson (1975), McFarland (1996), and Winston (1996).

5. A decade earlier Tonelson (1982 83: 53, 74) had proposed turning the Reagan administration's human rights policies on their head by "reserving America's harshest criticism and sanctions for those authoritarian regimes that President Reagan has favored, while responding to repression by totalitarian governments with a mixture of quiet diplomacy and economic incentives." He concluded that a "leverage and responsibility based human rights policy for the United States has become an imperative."

6. Kenneth Waltz (1967), the leading proponent of structural realism, is an exception.

7. Critics of a human rights emphasis in foreign affairs also cite Lincoln and his impatience with those who claim to be acting in accord with the will of Providence: "These are not, however, days of miracles, and I suppose it will be granted that I am not to expect a divine revelation. I must study the plain physical facts of the case, and ascertain what is possible and learn what appears to be wise and right." (Quoted in Morgenthau 1978:263).

8. Results from the 1996 survey will not be available until a later draft.


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