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Scholars Object to Honor for Condoleezza Rice

August 29, 2018

Dozens of political scientists have signed a petition asking the American Political Science Association to rescind a major award to Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. secretary of state and national security adviser and current Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at Stanford University. The petition also asks the political science association to create an oversight committee for nominations for public service awards, “so as to screen out those who have participated in policies that have had the consequence of the systematic violation of the human rights of others.” The association announced last week that Rice is the 2018 recipient of the Hubert H. Humphrey Award for public service, citing her strong record. But some political scientists object to that call, based on Rice’s involvement in decisions about the Iraq War and foreign policy more generally under President George W. Bush.

Giving Rice the Humphrey award honors “a person who actively participated in creating a rationale for the illegal invasion of Iraq, participated in and defended the creation of policies of rendition and torture against foreign nationals, supported the creation of a concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay, and aided and abetted the deliberate and systematic lies that were told to the American public to encourage their support for the invasion of Iraq, which, from its inception and to this day, has had catastrophic consequences for the world,” reads the petition drafted by Thomas L. Dumm, William H. Hastie ’25 Professor of Political Science at Amherst College, and circulated by Jodi Dean, professor of political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. The association, which convenes in Boston later this week for its annual meeting, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Rice backed out of speaking at commencement at Rutgers University in 2014, following protests by some students and faculty members.


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