The student-led movement to end mass atrocities.

#FollowFriday: A Brief Guide to Essential Reading on Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy

You can find a lot in the blogosphere and the Twittersphere: cat memes, celebrity gossip, and, increasingly, informative and influential discourse on human rights and U.S. foreign policy. If you’re wondering who to follow in 2013 for the best news and analysis on issues related to atrocities prevention (which you probably are, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading our blog!), we’ve got you covered. Below, find our list of the best blogs and Twitter users in the business. Quick pro tip: if you’re wondering how to keep up to date with so many blogs, check out Google Reader, a wonderful helpful (and wonderfully free) tool.


Dart-Throwing Chimp: Jay Ulfelder (see the Twitter section), who the Twitter community unfairly refers to as the “Nate Silver of Political Instability,” is a democratization expert, whose forecasting capabilities lend helpful insight into trends in conflict, mass atrocities, and regime transitions.

Democracy Arsenal: A committed cabal of progressive foreign policy practitioners, Democracy Arsenal’s list of contributors spans key participants in foreign policy decision-making under the Clinton and Obama administrations, including Rosa Brooks (see the Twitter section), David Shorr, and Heather Hurlburt.

Abu Muqawama: Straight outta NW DC, Dan Trombly and Adam Elkus have proven among the more insightful commentators on military strategy, operations, and policy. For human rights advocates looking to understand the larger context for policy conversations on political violence and light-footprint interventions, the Trombly/Elkus duo’s perspective is indispensable.

Duck of Minerva: A grab-bag of political science-based commentary on contemporary affairs. Interested in a gendered analysis of comparative politics? Check. Science fiction-oriented perspectives on counterinsurgency? Check. Plus, their daily “linkage” posts are a valuable collection of popular insight into international relations.

Reinventing Peace: The official blog of the World Peace Foundation, Reinventing Peace features insightful and diverse case studies on peacebuilding, mass atrocity prevention, and human rights policy. The blog is curated–and often written–by Alex de Waal, a well-established Sudan expert, and Bridget Conley, the former research director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.


@zackbeauchamp and @HayesBrown: This tag-team of progressive bloggers packs a powerful punch for rights-minded advocates. Beauchamp is a fervent and nuanced blogosphere defender of global ethics and the “responsibility to protect” doctrine, while Brown knows more about the United Nations than is healthy for a twentysomething.

@jay_ulfelder: As mentioned above, Jay is a veritable wizard of political instability, and is widely known as “that guy who predicted the Mali coup before it was cool.”

@brooks_rosa: Rosa Brooks, a former policymaker at the Department of Defense’s human rights office, is a committed “responsibility to protect” advocate, and is among the most familiar with the policy challenges and opportunities presented by human rights norms. Plus, she’s been fighting the good fight on gender imbalances in foreign policy institutions, often to much controversy.

@charlie_simpson: As Ben Valentino has observed, most mass atrocities occur within a broad context of counterinsurgency. So, if you’re interested in preventing mass atrocities, you should beef up on your understanding of insurgent and counterinsurgent violence. Look no further than Erin Simpson, who’s played a decisive role in shaping the last decade of policy discourse on counterinsurgency operation. And with a dry wit, too.

@brainpicker: Because sometimes, all we need is a little inspiration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>