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Human Rights in the ‘Green New Deal’ Narrative: Grassroots Climate Activism and Constructions of Human Rights in ‘Creative Social Praxis’

Precht-Rodriguez, Zina

Since November 2018, when Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined youth activists on Capitol Hill in protest for a “Green New Deal” (GND), the idea of a GND has sustained surges of media and political attention, bringing the topic of climate justice into mainstream. The GND, an umbrella of investment policies comparable to the New Deal programs, aims to mitigate climate change while ensuring economic and social security to all Americans. But while many commentators have been quick to draw the link between climate and justice, public commentary has not yet made a basic connection between the justice-based principles of the GND and human rights. I write this paper with the intention of starting that conversation. In showing how grassroots organizations and progressive Democrat officials are shaping a GND “Narrative” through collaborative forms of activism, I show that the Narrative is operating in “creative praxis” to discretely spread ideas of human rights into the American public consciousness. In pursuing this argument, I also provide information that may be useful for human rights scholars interested in how social movements may navigate American Exceptionalism—discussing in depth the human rights themes, rights claims, and demands cohesively embedded into the patriotic Narrative.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Rosenthal, Mila H.
Degree
B.A., Columbia University
Published Here
July 24, 2019
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