In the controversy over female genital mutilation, Congress was quick to condemn practices throughout Africa and the Middle East and to take action criminalizing the practice domestically. Yet at the same time, it bluntly dismissed Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch when they pointed out human rights violations closer to home in the form of the disproportionately high rate of the imposition of capital punishment on black men, and the disempowerment of poor women under new draconian welfare rules. The irony of the United States' international condemnation of types of activities in which it engages within its own borders is not lost on Third World critics.
Moral Imperialismsets out to bring an international human rights framework to the analysis of current international and domestic legal, political, and cultural crises. It explores the United States' moral supremacy during a time of clear domestic shortcomings and asks whether insisting that other nations adhere to norms that derive from dominant U.S. culture and history may harm societies--both within and outside of the U.S.--with
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New York University Press
October 26, 2002
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