Research

 

Current Research

For the Conscience of Mankind:

The International War Crimes Tribunal & the Creation of a Global Anti-War Movement, 1965-1968

Ph.D. Dissertation, Defense Date: May 2018

Before Edward Snowden exposed the NSA’s covert surveillance programs, WikiLeaks released classified footage showing US airstrikes on civilians. Before Celerino Castillo III leaked information about the illegal Iran-Contra deals, Deep Throat brought the Watergate Scandal to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Before Daniel Ellsberg disclosed the Pentagon Papers, Seymour Hersh uncovered a conspiracy to cover-up the My Lai massacre. Still, before all of these, a group of international peace activists travelled to Vietnam to uncover evidence that the United States had committed war crimes and violated human rights.

My dissertation examines the International War Crimes Tribunal (IWCT) as a transnational space of resistance whereby non-state actors from around the world extended the spirit of the Nuremberg Tribunals by staging a people’s trial to publicize US war crimes in Vietnam and collectively resist American unipolarity and oppression abroad. In order to account for the global interconnectivity of these transnational activists, my dissertation relies on a multi-archival and multi-lingual source base from archives in the US, Great Britain, Canada, and the Netherlands as well as published material from Cuba, Denmark, Sweden, France, and Vietnam. Additionally, this dissertation relies on previously unseen declassified documents released via a Freedom of Information Act request that I filed in 2016. Ultimately, I argue that the IWCT infused the global anti-Vietnam War movement with human rights ideas in ways that unified disparate activists who empathized with the Vietnamese experience. This study enlarges our understanding of the anti-war movement’s complexity by seeing not how factionalism destroyed the movement, but how shared differences unified the movement behind a common cause. It also challenges our understanding of the human rights movement by providing non-state actors with power in the 1960s instead of relegating it to NGOs during the 1970s. Finally, this project shows the importance of people’s tribunals as a form of resistance against top-down decision-making by state actors at the national and international level.

Past Research

Herbert Hoover's Challenge to Interventionism, 1938-1941

M.Phil. Dissertation, University of Cambridge (May 2013)

In 1938 a reviled ex-president, Herbert Hoover, stood defiant against the Logan Act to resist America’s intervention in the European conflict that would become World War II. As a citizen-diplomat, Former President Hoover broke the law and disobeyed President Franklin Roosevelt’s orders as he collaborated with diplomats and foreign leaders – including Adolf Hitler – to ease hostilities while simultaneously organizing a global humanitarian mission to rival the capabilities of both the State Department and the American Red Cross.    

 

My dissertation examines the International War Crimes Tribunal (IWCT) as a transnational space of resistance whereby non-state actors from around the world extended the spirit of the Nuremberg Tribunals by staging a people’s trial to publicize US war crimes in Vietnam and collectively resist American unipolarity and oppression abroad. In order to account for the global interconnectivity of these transnational activists, my dissertation relies on a multi-archival and multi-lingual source base from archives in the US, Great Britain, Canada, and the Netherlands as well as published material from Cuba, Denmark, Sweden, France, and Vietnam. Additionally, this dissertation relies on previously unseen declassified documents released via a Freedom of Information Act request that I filed in 2016. Ultimately, I argue that the IWCT infused the global anti-Vietnam War movement with human rights ideas in ways that unified disparate activists who empathized with the Vietnamese experience. This study enlarges our understanding of the anti-war movement’s complexity by seeing not how factionalism destroyed the movement, but how shared differences unified the movement behind a common cause. It also challenges our understanding of the human rights movement by providing non-state actors with power in the 1960s instead of relegating it to NGOs during the 1970s. Finally, this project shows the importance of people’s tribunals as a form of resistance against top-down decision-making by state actors at the national and international level. 

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