Does Counterterrorism Trump Human Rights? An Analysis of US Foreign Aid Hearings Pre- and Post-9/11

In: Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations
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Abstract

This article empirically evaluates the comparative importance of human rights and counterterrorism during Senate subcommittee hearings on US foreign aid. Drawing on, and further developing, international regime theory, the article predicts that the human rights regime will be resilient to the September 11 shock to the international system. Qualitative content analysis of discourse during the seven years before and after the 9/11 attacks demonstrates the predominance of the human rights regime—even post-9/11, when the counterterrorism regime emerged as a competitor. The article explains why this is the case and offers insight to the human rights regime’s resilience.