Introduction to A Critical Juncture: Human Rights & U.S. Standing in the World Under the Obama Administration

Author:Board of Editors
Introduction to A Critical Juncture: Human Rights & U.S.
Standing in the World Under the Obama Administration,
Issue 20:2
In March 2010, Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems
(TLCP) hosted a symposium entitled A Critical Juncture: Human R ights &
U.S. Standing in the World Under the Obama Administration. This second
issue of Volume 20 of TLCP continues our exploration of the topic.
In The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Forgotten
History of the White House Children‟s Conferences , 19091971, Maria Grahn-
Farley condenses her extensive research on the White House Childre n‘s
Conferences to show how the tradition of the child‘s rights in the United
States aligns with the goals and purposes of the U.N. Co nvention on the
Rights of the Child (―CRC‖). The Article ide ntifies specific rights enumerated
both in the reports from the White House Confere nces and the CRC and the
few distinctions between them, as well as a lost p rogressive attitude toward
child rights that previously existed even in time s of eco nomic depression and
war. The Article leaves the reader with the belief that a revival o f the
tradition of the White House Conferences, and CRC ratification, could renew
and enlighten the debate over a common national agenda for the
improvement of rights for U.S. children.
In A Portfolio Theory of Foreign Affairs: U.S. Relations w ith the Muslim
World, Liaquat Ali Khan applies portfolio theory of monetary investments to
the field of U.S. relations with Muslim countries. Khan first explains the
relevance and insight provided by conceptualizing the U.S. approach to
fostering relationships with the Islamic world as an individual long term
monetary investment strategy. Conceiving of the United States as a unitary
actor throughout changing administrations, Khan suggests that the U.S.
varied approaches may be more damaging to long term American interests
than previously thought. Finally, Khan concludes by considering the Obama
Administration's policy, and whether it is more consistent with long term
U.S. interests.
In Paris 19 19 and Rome 1998: Different Treaties, Different Presidents, Different
Senates, and the Same Dilemma, Harry Rhea analyzes the commonalities
between two major treaties of the 20th Century: the Treaty of Versailles and
the Rome Treaty for the International Criminal Court. Both were signed by
Presidents but neve r ratified by the Senate, a failure w hich many outside
observers identified as U.S. disregard fo r international law. Rhea traces the
United States' major role in negotiating and drafting both treaties, and
examines the reasons that the Senate refused advice and consent. Rhea
concludes by observing the potential affect that Barack Obam a's preside ncy
will have o n the Rome treaty, as the Treaty of Versailles and its League of
Nations have sadly long since j oined its fellow European-led peace initiatives
in history's wastebasket.

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