Graduation Year

Fall 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

© 2012 Jennifer Taw

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© 2012 Chelsea K. Layman


The United States prioritizes human rights rhetorically but not in practice. As a result, United States policy is disjointed and conflictual between human rights and security. The result is an inconsistency in foreign policy. There have been examples of this throughout United States history such as in El Salvador, Indonesia, and Bahrain.

This thesis explored the three cases in depth by 1) providing background information and a summary of human rights violations in order to provide context for the analysis, 2) listing and explaining the reasons why the United States prioritized security, and 3) analyzing when human rights are absent and present in policy.

Following the analysis of the case studies the final section sought to provide a recommendation in order to reduce the inconsistencies in United States Foreign Policy. The central recommendation focuses on merging human rights considerations within security driven policies.