Scholarly Horizons: University of Minnesota, Morris Undergraduate Journal


My research examines how and why American presidents speak about human rights issues around the world, using rhetoric about human rights from the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama administrations. I theorized that rhetorical attention to human rights issues would be dependent on the strategic value of the region where the abuses take place, and that the president would shy away from criticizing countries where high numbers of U.S. military personnel were stationed. Using descriptive statistics and a measure of bivariate correlation, I found compelling evidence that presidential human rights attention was influenced by regional location, but only weak evidence to tie presidential speech to the presence of military personnel.