Jimmy Carter, Human Rights, and the National Agenda
6 x 9, 232 pp.
Pub Date: 01/01/2009
Presidential Rhetoric and Political Communication
Price:        $39.95 s

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Published by Texas A&M University Press

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2009 Marie Hochmuch Nichols Award, presented by the Public Address Division of the National Communication Association

Jimmy Carter, Human Rights, and the National Agenda

By Mary E. Stuckey

Though Jimmy Carter is widely viewed as one of the least effective modern presidents, the human rights agenda for which his administration is known remains high in the national awareness and continues to provide important justifications for presidential and congressional action a quarter-century later. The very elements of Carter's communications on human rights that engendered obstacles to the formation of a coherent and consistent policy—the term's vagueness, the difficulties of applying it, its uneasy relationship with national security interests, and the divergence between Democratic and Republican understandings—allowed "human rights" to become a useful rubric for presidents, both Democratic and Republican, who followed Carter. Stuckey discusses the key elements of how human rights came to the nation's attention.

MARY E. STUCKEY, professor of communication and political science at Georgia State University, is also the author of Slipping the Surly Bonds: Reagan's Challenger Address, published in 2006 by Texas A&M University Press. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Notre Dame.

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