2021 USSO Book Hour with Dr. Rasmus Sinding Søndergaard 

U.S. Studies Online is delighted to announce the commencement of our 2021/22BookHour series with Dr. Rasmus Sinding Søndergaard discussing his book Reagan, Congress, and Human Rights: Contesting Morality in U.S. Foreign Policy (Cambridge UP, 2020).

Hosted by Dr. Ciarán Leinster (UCD), the talk is at 3pm on Wednesday 29th September. Attendance is free and you can register here.

Søndergaard’s talk is based on his recentbook, which traces the role of human rights concerns in US foreign policy during the 1980s, focusing on the struggle among the Reagan administration and members of Congress. He argues that pressure from Congress pushed the administration to reconsider its approach to human rights and craft a conservative human rights policy shaped by anti-communism and selective democracy promotion. Through a number of case studies, he shows how liberals and conservatives selectively invoked human rights to further their agendas. He argues that this helped cement human rights as the core moral language in US foreign policy but also further politicized the meaning of the concept with a lasting impact on US human rights policy.

Dr. Søndergaard is a Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies, a Visiting Research Fellow at Lunds University, and frequently contributes to Danish media on U.S. politics and foreign policy.