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    Denial and human rights violations

    Seu, Irene Bruna (2014) Denial and human rights violations. In: Denialism and Human Rights, 2015, The Maasticht Centre for Human Rights, Maastricht University, The Netherlands. (Unpublished)

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    Abstract

    This presentation reports on a series of qualitative studies carried out to investigate ordinary people’s understanding and responses (including actions and inaction) to information about human rights violations. The presentation proposes a psychosocial model of public denial as a dynamic equilibrium which, influenced by Freud’s and Cohen’s conceptualisations of denial, identifies the key factors fostering denial. The model will be illustrated through excerpts from the studies’ participants. The second part of the presentation will introduce a psychodynamic model of factors fostering individual ‘connectedness’ with human rights and humanitarian issues (the ‘3M’ model). The talk will conclude with a reflection on the policy implications of the models presented.

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