Video Exercises

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A Lone Voice

HumanTV
“John Hurt Speaking Out”

Synopsis:
A short speech on human rights by John Hurt on behalf of Amnesty International. This is basically an ad recorded by an individual on behalf of a nongovernmental organization (NGO).

Critical Thinking Questions:

1.
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To what degree does the “star power” of an individual enable him or her to act on behalf of wider groups in the mobilization of mass movements? To what degree does this reflect the mobilization of elite opinion? Of popular opinion?
2.
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Are appeals such as this one effective at changing global norms? Does individual effort in these cases require an organization (an NGO in this case) to be effective?
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Passing the Torch

France24
“Olympic Flame Causing Trouble in Europe”

Synopsis:
Summary of coverage of the protests over the Chinese treatment of Tibet that followed the passing of the Olympic Torch in 2008.

Critical Thinking Questions:

3.
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To what degree does the protest over the Olympic Torch reflect mass opinion? How does the difference between European and Chinese press coverage reflect the management of mass opinion by the state?
4.
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Does mass action by private individuals have a significant impact on government policy? Does the regime-type of the government matter (democracy, autocracy, etc.)? Does the time frame (long versus short term) matter?

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About these videos

These video clips and associated critical thinking questions provide real-world insights into international relations.