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

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"Thomas has done a great job showing how the Helsinki human rights norms mattered. . . . The writing is excellent. The story is compelling." (Stephen D. Krasner, Stanford University)"The Helsinki Effect offers a very well written and accessible account of some of the most important historical events of our age, and a powerful argument about the role of Helsinki norms. This book will attract a wide readership in political science but will also appeal to audiences in history and sociology who are interested in ...
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Overview

"Thomas has done a great job showing how the Helsinki human rights norms mattered. . . . The writing is excellent. The story is compelling." (Stephen D. Krasner, Stanford University)"The Helsinki Effect offers a very well written and accessible account of some of the most important historical events of our age, and a powerful argument about the role of Helsinki norms. This book will attract a wide readership in political science but will also appeal to audiences in history and sociology who are interested in social movements." (Martha Finnemore, George Washington University) "This book represents a major contribution to debates on the origins and effects of international norms. It argues that international norms can affect outcomes by transforming relations between state and societal actors. Above all, Thomas demonstrates in great detail and most convincingly how the Helsinki human rights norm contributed to the collapse of Communism and the end of the Cold War in Europe. Required reading for anybody interested in these themes!" (Thomas Risse, European University Institute)
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Editorial Reviews

Slavic Review - Patrick O'Neil
Thomas's work is valuable for a number of reasons. First, it serves as an excellent analysis of the emergence of the Helsinki process and its interpretation in the west and east. In addition, Thomas reminds us of the ways in which this language became an important part of the dissident movement and the emergence of civil society across the Soviet bloc. Finally, Thomas uses this discussion to challenge traditional thinking on international relations and the role of ideas, seeking to apply these lessons more broadly to the field.
From the Publisher
"This engaging book argues that human rights norms mattered more than geo-political power or economics in ending the Cold War."—Foreign Affairs

"Thomas's work is valuable for a number of reasons. First, it serves as an excellent analysis of the emergence of the Helsinki process and its interpretation in the west and east. In addition, Thomas reminds us of the ways in which this language became an important part of the dissident movement and the emergence of civil society across the Soviet bloc. Finally, Thomas uses this discussion to challenge traditional thinking on international relations and the role of ideas, seeking to apply these lessons more broadly to the field."—Patrick O'Neil, Slavic Review

Foreign Affairs
This engaging book argues that human rights norms mattered more than geo-political power or economics in ending the Cold War.
Slavic Review
Thomas's work is valuable for a number of reasons. First, it serves as an excellent analysis of the emergence of the Helsinki process and its interpretation in the west and east. In addition, Thomas reminds us of the ways in which this language became an important part of the dissident movement and the emergence of civil society across the Soviet bloc. Finally, Thomas uses this discussion to challenge traditional thinking on international relations and the role of ideas, seeking to apply these lessons more broadly to the field.
— Patrick O'Neil
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691048581
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/23/2001
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 5.72 (w) x 8.82 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowlegments
Abbreviations
Introduction: The International Politics of Human Rights 3
Ch. 1 The Emergence of Human Rights Norms in East-West Relations 27
Ch. 2 Negotiating Human Rights in the Helsinki Final Act 55
Ch. 3 Framing "Helsinki" at Home: Social Movements against the Communist Party-State 91
Ch. 4 Framing "Helsinki" Abroad: Transnational Networks and U.S. Policy 121
Ch. 5 Mobilization: The Expansion of Human Rights Movements 159
Ch. 6 Backlash: Communism's Response to Human Rights 195
Ch. 7 Socialization: Human Rights and the Dismantling of Communist Rule 220
Conclusions: The Helsinki Effect 257
App.: Interviews 289
Index 295
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