This is a study of the Ford Foundation’s support and of funding of human rights projects and NGOs, illuminating its extraordinary role in helping undermine and destroy major repressive authoritarian and totalitarian regimes during the latter part of the twentieth century.
William Korey is a human rights scholar who has taught at various schools, including Columbia University, Brooklyn College, and Yeshiva University.
“Bill Korey is one of the great scholars and practitioners of human rights issues in the world. His analysis of the Ford Foundation’s international human rights activities is a great contribution to understanding human rights in the last half-century and the critical importance of private organizations like the Ford Foundation.”
–Congressman Tom Lantos, Chairman, House Committee on Foreign Affairs
“A brilliant, creative, and penetrating analytical achievement! Dr. Korey captures for the first time the extraordinary and extensive human rights work of the Ford Foundation. At the same time, he explores the world of repression and how human rights organizations, funded by the foundation, have responded. It is a remarkable story told by a master.”
–Larry Cox, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA
“What a thrilling and exciting work is Dr. William Korey’s new study of the Ford Foundation’s international human rights policy and program. Anyone interested in human rights will find his analysis enormously rewarding and instructive. An unparalleled resource.”
–Seymour D. Reich, Past President, B’nai B’rith International
“Taking on the World’s Repressive Regimes, Bill Korey’s incisive account of the Ford Foundation’s global encounter with human rights, is a work of unusual insight and historical weight. With unfettered access to more than half a century of Foundation archives, supplemented by candid interviews with many of its top officers, Korey tells a vivid story not only of this country’s foremost philanthropy but also of how America’s elites came to understand, step by sometimes painful step, the core place of human rights in defining our nation and our world. In Korey’s capable hands, the evolution of the Ford Foundation’s engagement with human rights becomes a sweeping narrative of social change and progressive public policy, of emerging domestic values and their reflection in ever more encompassing global norms. In this seminal tale of how to move public policy, at home and abroad, the critical but often undervalued role of civil society, public intellectuals, and norm entrepreneurs is given its due prominence.”
–Edward C. Luck, Professor and Director, Center on International Organization, Columbia University
“With Taking on the World’s Repressive Regimes, William Korey has done a great service for both those who champion and follow the realization of human rights internationally and those who wish to understand the potential and limitations of foundation strategies to bring about real change…While this volume focuses on the Ford Foundation, it makes clear that Ford played a steadily increasing role in empowering other organizations, both U.S. nonprofits and international NGOs. The book is a rich trove of hitherto unpublished documentation, drawn from interviews as well as from Ford’s archives; readers will have all that they need to judge for themselves the degree of credit that should be ascribed to Ford for making a significant difference in each development.”–Joel L. Fleishman, Ethics and International Affairs
Origins and Background * Chile: A Breakthrough in Foundation Policy * Foundation Policy Across Latin America * The “Human Rights Lobby” * U.S. Helsinki Watch: The Foundation in East Europe * The “Foundation for European Intellectual Cooperation” * Taking Risks on South Africa * The Rejection of “Fatalism” * An Historic Role * Women’s Rights: “A Position of Empowerment” * From Nairobi to Beijing * A Stumble, and Strides Forward