Actualizing Human Rights Norms in Distanced Spaces; an Analysis of the Campaign to Eliminate Conflict Diamonds and the Capital Market Sanctions (Sudan) Campaigns in the United States




Muvingi, Ismael

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In the late 1990s and early 2000s, social justice activists in the United States initiated two coalition based campaigns aimed at ameliorating the violence associated with extractive industries in Angola, Sierra Leone and Sudan. The ideological diversity and the disparate interests of the coalition participants were an intriguing puzzle and part of this dissertation is an exploration of how it is that these widely diverse actors were able to collaborate and successfully run the campaigns despite their significant differences. I advance the argument that diversity of ideological subscription is no bar to coalition work in campaigns because a strategic basis for operationalization enables collaboration across ideological and interest differences. I utilized a tripartite opportunity structure framework to analyze the campaign. Extant scholarship on social movements is predominantly state centric, but in these cases the violators or human rights were other than states i.e. corporations, rebels and warlords that operated across state boundaries and were enabled by the market. To better encapsulate the range of structural opportunities I therefore delineated institutional structures rather than just state structures. The second leg of the framework emanates from the problem of separating framing from opportunity structures. The efforts of the activists through the framing of their messages as well as their mobilizing efforts were met by the counter frames of the targets and mediated by various opportunity structures that comprised the prevailing context. Rather than simply a unidirectional frame activity from the activists, I wanted to capture the competing nature of the framing processes in the public sphere. Thirdly, although the campaigns took place during the same historical time space and were motivated by the same phenomenon of violence in extractive industries, they had divergent trajectories and different outcomes. From the investigations it was fairly clear that the economic and strategic interests within the U.S. context largely determined the campaign outcomes. I therefore utilized a geopolitical opportunity structure to complete the analytical framework.



Human-rights, Social movements, Extractive industries