Human rights movements in Soviet Russia (1969-1980) : ideas, norms and the state
Karasar, Hasan Ali
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This thesis attempts to shed light on the difficulties of defending the international norms of the idea of human rights against the dominance of the state and its interests, which are explained essentially by the rationalists and the political realists in domestic and international affairs, by focusing the clash between the Soviet state and the Soviet (Russian) dissidents throughout the détente period (1969-1980). The history of prominent dissident activities in Soviet Russia began during the deStalinization period under the Khrushchev administration (1956-1964). However, the human rights movement in the Soviet Union was affected to a great extent by the international environment in 1970s during which time norms became more significant in bilateral relations, and human rights-idea began to constitute the source of a normative challenge to pure rationalist/realist explanations based on power, selfinterest and anarchy. In this regard, the primary purpose of adopting a constructivist perspective regarding the internationalization of human rights is to analyze the dissidence activities nurtured by the international norms and principles of human rights in Soviet Russia. Thus, the impacts of oppositions and responses supported by domestic and international factors within the state can be understood congruent with the policy changes, continuities, and stalemates. While the Soviet state’s fundamental response to these activities is interpreted as an amalgam of ideology, a priori principles and state-interests, the main argument of this thesis does not challenge the explanatory power of the rationalist/realist line in comprehending the dominance of the state over the dissidents and human rights defenders.