Advocacy Narratives and Celebrity Engagement: the Case of Ben Affleck in Congo

Alexandra Cosima Budabin, Lisa Ann Richey

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Global celebrities are increasingly important in human rights--promoting causes, raising awareness, and interacting with decision-makers—as communicators to mass and elite audiences. Deepening the literature on transnational advocacy and North-South relations, this article argues that celebrities shape human rights narratives by selecting issues and interacting with dominant framings. This hypothesis is tested through a discourse analysis of professional entertainer Ben Affleck’s spoken and written texts along with organizational materials covering the establishment of the Eastern Congo Initiative. The study explains how the ability for celebrities to contend with narratives reflects elite practices in human rights advocacy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Rights Quarterly
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)260-286
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2018
Externally publishedYes

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