Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Daniel Livesay

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© 2017 Calla Jo Cameron


The duality of the United States’ relationship with international criminal law and human rights atrocities is a fascinating theme that weaves through all of American history, but most distinctly demonstrates the contradictory nature of American foreign policy in the latter half of the 20th century. America is both protector of human rights and perpetrator of human rights atrocities, global police force and aggressor. The Cold War exacerbated the tensions caused by American military dominance. The international political and physical power of the American military allowed the United States to do as it pleased in the 20th century with few consequences, but that power also brought watchfulness from the global community and an expectation that the United States would intervene when rogue states or leaders committed crimes against humanity. The international legal community has expected the United States to act and illegally intervene in some situations, but to pursue policy changes peacefully through diplomatic channels on other occasions.