Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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Inching Forward: Human Rights Policy in the Clinton Administration: Conversation with John Shattuck, Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Library Foundation, January 13, 2004, by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is John Shattuck, who is the CEO of the Kennedy Library Foundation. During the Clinton administration from 1993 to 1998, he was Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor; and then from '98 to 2000, Ambassador to the Czech cover He is the author of Freedom on Fire, an account of his work in the Clinton administration.

  1. Assistant Secretary of State ... portfolio ... personal background ... selection by Clinton ... human rights in the presidential campaign ... complicating factors in human rights agenda ... Wilsonianism
  2. Dynamics of Policymaking ... impact of Somalia ... Rwanda ... Washington interagency gridlock ... presidential gridlock ... public apathy ... Haiti ... importance of domestic politics ... the costs of the forces of disintegration ... conflict resolution paradox ... strategies for moving the agenda forward ... successful corroboration of victims' stories by CIA
  3. China ... Tiananmen Square massacre ... contradiction between human rights and economic engagement ... diminishment of human rights agenda
  4. Serving in Government ... thinking about resigning ... staying on to advance the process
  5. Impact of 9/11 ... positive impacts: waking up America ... ousting the Taliban ... negative impacts: reformist dissidents regarded as terrorists ... crackdown on domestic civil liberties ... challenge to Geneva Conventions at Guantanamo ... doctrine of preemption ... loss of U.S. soft power
  6. Lessons of the Second Iraq War ... disregard of previous lessons learned ... need for multilateral support; need for in-country leadership; need for trained peacekeeping forces
  7. Lessons Learned ... importance of rule of law ... confronting evil ... example of President of Kennedy

See also the 1997 interview with Shattuck: Diplomacy and the Shaping of a Human Rights Agenda and Shattuck's 1997 Internet "chat" with high school students.

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