The Spectacle of Suffering, Transnational Witnessing, and Solidarity

  • Joel R. PruceEmail author
Part of the Human Rights Interventions book series (HURIIN)


The post-cold war era presents cases of spectacular suffering beamed into the homes of the audience, awakening concern, and demanding intervention in places such as Somalia. Due to advances in mass media technology, such as satellite communications and cable news networks, this wave of globalization brought victims of war and famine to primetime television. As audiences shared emotional experiences through the graphic coverage of atrocity, civil society began to cry out for a humanitarian response. However, while new visual media provide venues for snapshots and highlight reels, coherent plotlines are more difficult to articulate. Spectacular television coverage of human suffering provokes profound reactions from the audience but does not translate these expressions into sustained political responses.


NGOsNon-governmental Organizations (NGOs) UNICEFUnited Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Human rightsHuman Rights audienceAudience televisionTelevision 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of DaytonDaytonUSA

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