Events

Human Rights Activism and the End of the Cold War: A Transnational History of the Helsinki Network

September 13, 2011 // 4:00pm5:30pm
Event Co-sponsors: 
History and Public Policy Program
Webcast
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Two of the most pressing questions facing international historians today are how and why the Cold War ended. In Human Rights Activism and the End of the Cold War, Sarah B. Snyder explores how, in the aftermath of the signing of the Helsinki Final Act in 1975, a transnational network of activists committed to human rights in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe made the topic a central element in East-West diplomacy. As a result, human rights eventually became an important element of Cold War diplomacy and a central component of détente. Snyder demonstrates how this network influenced both Western and Eastern governments to pursue policies that fostered the rise of organized dissent in Eastern Europe, freedom of movement for East Germans and improved human rights practices in the Soviet Union – all factors in the end of the Cold War.

Joining Snyder on the panel is Svetlana Savranskaya, research fellow at The George Washington University's National Security Archive and Ambassador Richard Schifter, United States lawyer and former assistant secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs.

Samuel Wells, Wilson Center senior scholar will chair this event.

Location: 
5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
 
Event Speakers List: 
  • Lecturer in International History, University College London
  • Senior Fellow, National Security Archive, The George Washington University
  • Chairman of the Board of the American Jewish International Relations Institute
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To confirm time and place, contact Maria-Stella Gatzoulis on the day of the event: tel. (202) 691-4188. Check this page for the latest updates and notices.

Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Laura Deal // Catalog Specialist
  • Pieter Biersteker // Editorial Assistant
  • Charles Kraus // Program Assistant
  • Evan Pikulski // Program Assistant
  • Roy O. Kim // Program Assistant
  • James Person // Deputy Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project