Date of Award

Summer 8-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Communication Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Keith Erickson

Committee Chair Department

Communication Studies

Committee Member 2

Dr. Wendy Atkins-Sayre

Committee Member 2 Department

Communication Studies

Committee Member 3

Dr. Lawrence Hosman

Committee Member 3 Department

Communication Studies

Committee Member 4

Dr. John Meyer

Committee Member 4 Department

Communication Studies

Committee Member 5

Dr. Charles Tardy

Committee Member 5 Department

Communication Studies

Abstract

Former President James Earl Carter is well known for his rhetorical efforts to promote human rights. Carter’s human rights advocacy is motivated and sustained by his belief that God duty-bounds him to assist those less fortunate than himself. Scholars generally concede, however, that as president, Jimmy Carter’s human rights accomplishments were minimal and that he failed to develop or institute consistent policies. This dissertation compares and contrasts Carter’s presidency and postpresidency with respect to human rights accomplishments, arguing that he was better able to serve an advocacy role when out of office. Carter, free of separation of church and state restraints, successfully pursued human rights advocacy world-wide.

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