Globalizing Human Rights: Private Citizens, the Soviet Union, and the West

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-09-19
  • Publisher: Routledge

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This book explores the complexities of the role human rights played in US-Soviet and Western Europe-Soviet relations through the prism of globalization. Author Christian Peterson moves beyond the confines of standard 'state-centric' works that privilege the behavior of either the US executive branch or Soviet policymakers to describe how Western private citizens, Soviet dissenters, and members of Congress exploited the language of Final Act (Helsinki Accords) to forge a transnational network committed to globalizing the issue of Soviet human rights violations.In addition to examining the behavior of the US government, this book offers an in-depth analysis of the Soviet government's view of dissenters and non-official activities. It devotes considerable attention to how Soviet policymakers responded to the efforts of Western governments and to how private citizens used human rights as a way of undermining the international prestige of their regime. Globalizing Human Rights illustrates the ways in which a transnational perspective calls into question the so-called inherent 'weakness' of Soviet dissent during the early to mid 1980s. It also examines the role human rights critiques and transnational actors played in shaping Mikhail Gorbachev's efforts to reform Soviet-style socialism.

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