“Beyond Good Intentions: The promise and peril of citizen engagement in foreign policy”
Starting in 2005, thousands of ordinary Americans made the plight of people in Darfur their cause and tried to build political will within the foreign policy system to respond to Darfur. Believing the story they had been told that U.S. failure in Rwanda could have been changed by the outcry of an engaged American populace, they imagined that their outcry marked the dividing line between life and death for Darfuris.
The mass movement advocacy model tested out on Darfur had some clear victories that leaders in other issue areas might wish to emulate. But their advocacy also set up some perverse consequences that should be thought through before embarking on the mass movement approach.
Rebecca Hamilton, a reporter who has written extensively on Darfur and the author of Fighting for Darfur: Public Action and the Struggle to Stop Genocide, will share her thoughts and experiences. Rachel Davis will moderate the discussion.