JünglingInternationale Menschenrechtskritik an Großmächten

Great powers have been considered to be comparatively resistant against international human rights pressures. At the same time, they do not always seem to brush aside international criticism easily. Nevertheless, a systematic comparative study into the effects and success conditions of international human rights criticism remains to be undertaken to date.

Using the examples of two interview-based case studies – the Russian human rights violations in Chechnya and U.S. norm violations in the “war on terror” –, the author shows that great powers are socially vulnerable to international human rights criticism. Such criticism poses a threat to their power and identity as a so-called legitimate great power. For criticism to be successful, the characteristics of criticism, the senders and addressees of criticism as well as its interplay with domestic pressures turn out to be crucial. With its focus the study provides insights into promising strategies of dealing with powerful states.