This book takes an innovative look at international relations. Focusing on the worldwide campaign against abuses by the right-wing authoritarian regime in Uruguay (1973-1984), it explores how norms and ideas interact with political interests, both global and domestic. It examines joint actions by differently-motivated actors such as the leftist activists who had to flee Uruguay in these years, the Organization of American States, The United Nations, Amnesty International, and the United States. It traces language and procedures for making their claims. The chief goal, however, is to peruse the specific reasons that led these actors to endorse the central core of liberal rights that gave foundation to this system. A close examination of the available documents shows that even as they joined efforts to protest abuses, they were still pursuing their individual agendas, which is often overlooked in the existing scholarship on human rights transnational activism. The book pays special attention to the Uruguayan exiles, analyzing why and how leftist activists and leaders adopted the human rights language, which had so far been used to attack communism in the context of the Cold War.
"Written in clear and comprehensible language, this book constitutes an important contribution to the study of transnational politics…The book constitutes a major contribution to the scholarship on Uruguay's recent political history, as well as an important resource for researchers and students of this evolution of human rights, international relations, and transnational networks." Luis Roniger, Wake Forest University, Hispanic American Historical Review
Introduction. 1. From Hope to Despair: Uruguay in the Twentieth Century 2. Revolution in Uruguay: An Introduction to Leftist Politics, 1967-73 3. Reorientation Abroad: Uruguayan Exiles and Transnational Politics, 1973-76 4. Worldwide Fragmentation: Transnational Human Rights and National Politics, 1976-80 5. Returning to Uruguay: From Transnational Human Rights to Transitional Politics, 1981-84. Conclusion.