The Helsinki Effect: International Norms, Human Rights, and the Demise of Communism

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Princeton University Press, 5 ago. 2001 - 308 páginas
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Human rights norms do matter. Those established by the Helsinki Final Act contributed directly to the demise of communism in the former East bloc, contends Daniel Thomas. This book counters those skeptics who doubt that such international norms substantially affect domestic political change, while explaining why, when, and how they matter most. Thomas argues that the Final Act, signed in 1975, transformed the agenda of East-West relations and provided a common platform around which opposition forces could mobilize. Without downplaying other factors, Thomas shows that the norms established at Helsinki undermined the viability of one-party Communist rule and thereby contributed significantly to the largely peaceful and democratic changes of 1989, as well as the end of the Cold War. Drawing on both governmental and nongovernmental sources, he offers a powerful Constructivist alternative to Realist theory's failure to anticipate or explain these crucial events.


This study will fundamentally influence ongoing debates about the politics of international institutions, the socialization of states, the spread of democracy, and, not least, about the balance of factors that felled the Iron Curtain. It casts new light on Solidarity, Charter 77, and other democratic movements in Eastern Europe, the sources of Gorbachev's reforms, the evolution of the European Union, U.S. foreign policy, and East-West relations in the final decades of the Cold War. The Helsinki Effect will be essential reading for scholars and students of international relations, international law, European politics, human rights, and social movements.

 

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Índice

The International Politics of Human Rights
3
THE EVOLUTION OF NORMS
25
The Emergence of Human Rights Norms in EastWest Relations
27
Negotiating Human Rights in the Helsinki Final Act
55
THE FRAMING OF NORMS
89
Framing Helsinki at Home Social Movements against the Communist PartyState
91
Framing Helsinki Abroad Transnational Networks and US Policy
121
THE EFFECTS OF NORMS
157
Mobilization The Expansion of Human Rights Movements
159
Backlash Communisms Response to Human Rights
195
Socialization Human Rights and the Dismantling of Communist Rule
220
The Helsinki Effect
257
Interviews
289
Index
295
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Sobre el autor (2001)

Daniel C. Thomas is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. During 1998-99, he was Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. He has coedited three books on international security issues.

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