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On-line version ISSN 2448-7228Print version ISSN 1870-3550


ESTEVEZ LOPEZ, Ariadna. U.S. Exceptionalism and Human Rights: Obama’s Challenges after George W. Bush’s Disaster. Norteamérica [online]. 2008, vol.3, n.2, pp.69-89. ISSN 2448-7228.

This article argues that GeorgeW. Bush, former Republican president of the United States, radicalized U.S. exceptionalism in human rights matters to such a degree that the new president, Democrat Barak Obama, will have to define it in order to repair the unprecedented damage done by his predecessor’s administration. Bush not only went beyond what has up until now been known as U.S. exceptionalism, but he also undermined the country’s moral authority for preaching its manifest destiny. Presenting a theoretical and historical characterization of U.S. exceptionalism, the article situates Bush’s version and examines the damage caused by his actions in Guantánamo and his attitude toward torture and human rights values. Based on this, it ventures a sketch of the challenges Obama faces for recovering his country’s legitimacy and moral authority.

Keywords : human rights; foreign policy; exceptionalism; international justice; Guantánamo.

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