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Panopticon: The Architecture and the Theatre of Human Rights

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Human Rights, Imperialism, and Corruption in US Foreign Policy

Part of the book series: Human Rights Interventions ((HURIIN))

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The introduction lays out the key arguments and the outline of the book. The recent introduction of corruption into the US State Department’s Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices serves the US-specific interpretation of human rights that diverge from international standards and embedded in US imperialism. The discourse on human rights promotion has been criticised as the moral fig leaf covering other US interests. Yet, the ACRs ultimately are a mechanism that serves the function of the Foucauldian Panopticon apparatus. In particular, ACRs are an essential part of the power apparatus that observes, examines, and normalises the discourse on countries’ human rights practices. Through this metaphor the importance of knowledge production is underlined.

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  1. 1.

    White House (2021b) Statement by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on the National Security Study Memorandum on the Fight Against Corruption.

  2. 2.

    White House (2021a) Memorandum on Establishing the Fight Against Corruption as a Core United States National Security Interest.

  3. 3.


  4. 4.

    Michel Foucault (1979) Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Vintage, page 184.

  5. 5.

    Ibid., page 192.

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Correspondence to Ilia Xypolia .

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Xypolia, I. (2022). Panopticon: The Architecture and the Theatre of Human Rights. In: Human Rights, Imperialism, and Corruption in US Foreign Policy. Human Rights Interventions. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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