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What Western activists get wrong when they try to save the world.


Advocates of humanitarian intervention – of sending international troops to protect human rights, to provide humanitarian assistance, to prevent atrocities – have ended up merging their agenda with the neocon agenda of projecting US power around the world.

Researcher Alex de Waal points out the blind spots in transnational activism, from uninformed celebrity patrons to misguided consumer-based solutions, and explains why well-meaning liberal outrage so often jumpstarts neoconservative military actions.

Alex edited and wrote for the essay collection Advocacy in Conflict: Critical Perspectives on Transnational Activism from Zed Books.

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Alex de Waal

Alex de Waal is executive director of the World Peace Foundation and a research professor at the Fletcher School at Tufts University.


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