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Human Rights and State Security

Indonesia and the Philippines

By Anja Jetschke

Publication Year: 2011

In recent years, influential studies have shown that the activities of human rights organizations are central in convincing violating governments to improve their practices. Yet some governments continue to get away with human rights violations despite mobilizations against them. In Human Rights and State Security: Indonesia and the Philippines, Anja Jetschke considers the impact of transnational human rights advocacy on the process of human rights reform and democratization in two countries that have been successful in resisting international human rights pressure.

Jetschke details the effects of campaigns waged by international and domestic NGOs, foreign governments, local opposition leaders, and international organizations. She argues that the literature on transnational advocacy overlooks the ability of governments to justify and excuse human rights violations in their public dialogue with human rights organizations. Describing efforts of international and domestic human rights advocates to protect the rights of various groups, the case studies in this book suggest that governments successfully block or evade pressures if they invoke threats to state security. Jetschke finds that state security puts into play a set of powerful international norms related to sovereignty—a state's right to territorial integrity, the secular organization of the state, or a government's lack of control over the means of organized violence. If governments frame persuasive arguments around these norms, they can effectively mobilize competing domestic and international groups and trump human rights advocacy. Human Rights and State Security shows that the content and arguments on behalf of human rights matter and provide opportunities for both governments and civil society organizations to advance their agendas.

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

Series: Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights


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pp. vii-viii

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1. Human Rights and State Security in International Relations

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pp. 1-19

Why do governments routinely violate human rights, and what makes them decide to change that practice? Do international human rights norms, in fact, influence state behavior? If so, can non-governmental human rights organizations influence a state’s human rights practice in a positive way, and under what conditions? Why is the mobilization of external actors different, even ...

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2. International Norms and Their Contestation in Human Rights Dialogues

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pp. 20-52

When states are accused of human rights violations by international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or the governments of other states, they engage in continuous, and oft en bitter and divisive, debates about their practice. They also debate the norms that should regulate how they are being treated in an international community and how those norms express shared ...

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3. Indonesia’s New Order 1965–1978: Transnational Advocacy and State Security under Military-Led Modernization

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pp. 53-88

In 1963, the policy planning staff at the United States State Department prepared a study on the role of the military in underdeveloped areas. It argued that American policy had to change. Instead of emphasizing civilian supremacy over the armed forces and an optimistic perspective on the prospects for democratic, parliamentary development, the new focus was military ...

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4. The Philippine New Society 1972–1986: Transnational Advocacy and Human Rights Change

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pp. 89-129

When Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law on the evening of September 22, 1972, it looked like one of Asia’s most developed democracies had come to an end. Officially, Marcos justified this measure by pointing to a political rebellion and the disturbances of public order caused by mass protests and an armed underground movement. Because the ...

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5. Indonesia’s New Order 1986–1998: Transnational Advocacy and Human Rights Change

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pp. 190-170

On November 12, 1991, the Indonesian military massacred civilians in Dili, the capital of East Timor. The world watched in shock. On television, we saw Indonesian soldiers shooting at unarmed East Timorese civilians. We saw these civilians fleeing through a graveyard and hiding behind gravestones. We saw them shot by soldiers who followed them into the graveyard.1 ...

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6. Subcontracted Violence in the Philippines 1986–1992: Excusing Violations

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pp. 171-198

When President Corazon Aquino, the widow of slain popular opposition figure Benigno Aquino, assumed power in the Philippines in February 1986, human rights advocates had a field day. Their political struggles for human rights and their personal pain and sacrifices were finally worthwhile. The high public visibility of human rights concerns and the mobilization of other states ...

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7. Excuses and Paramilitary Violence in East Timor and Indonesia 1999–2005

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pp. 199-230

On August 30, 1999, in a referendum that made history, the people of East Timor voted on the question of self-determination. When the ballots were counted that evening, more than 78 percent of the population had voted for independence from Indonesia. Th e election ended East Timor’s twenty-four-year struggle and seemed to finally reward the huge network of solidarity ...

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8. The Philippines 1999–2008: Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights Violations

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pp. 231-256

In 2006, major international human rights organizations raised alarm over the human rights situation in the Philippines. Since 2001, depending on who is counting, between 100 and 800 individuals, many of them human rights activists, trade unionists, and members of left-oriented political parties, have been extralegally executed (Amnesty International 2006; Human ...

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9. Contested Norms and Human Rights Change

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pp. 257-284

This book started with a series of questions, most importantly:
• Why do governments routinely violate the most basic norms of human rights?
• Why do they change their practices?
• Why do they sometimes get away with the most flagrant human rights violations? ...


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pp. 285-301


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pp. 303-306


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pp. 307-335


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pp. 337-352

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pp. 353-355

I would like to thank many individuals who have accompanied this book during its path to publication. Writing a book is not only an academic endeavor, but also a personal one. If this book is about the struggle for human rights, it reflects not only an academic interest in explaining human rights change, but also a personal conviction that, in the end, it is the people who count....

E-ISBN-13: 9780812204926
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812243017

Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights
Series Editor Byline: Bert B. Lockwood, Jr., Series Editor See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 793012550
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Human Rights and State Security

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Subject Headings

  • Human rights -- Indonesia.
  • Human rights -- Philippines.
  • Human rights advocacy -- Indonesia.
  • International and municipal law -- Philippines.
  • Human rights advocacy -- Philippines.
  • International and municipal law -- Indonesia.
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