A Force Profonde: The Power, Politics, and Promise of Human Rights

By Edward A. Kolodziej | Go to book overview

Chapter 11
Eastern Europe:
The Russian Federation

Carol Skalnik Leff

Human rights politics play out within a complex web of domestic and transnational relationships. As Thomas Risse-Kappen (1994) says, “ideas do not float freely”; they are encapsulated in normative regimes that are incorporated into institutional structures and championed by concrete actors embedded in political networks. An examination of these actors and institutional structures is critical to explaining the outcomes of Russian human rights battles after communism; these battles have been fought in a transnational setting in which the domestic and foreign linkages must be specified.

Before tackling this task, it is sensible to ask what is meant by a human rights agenda. One can, of course, set a broad-gauged agenda that encompasses an extensive checklist of social and economic rights as well as civil and political ones. This is the format adopted in the annual U.S. State Department assessments of human rights. This generalized approach has some useful payoffs for performing summary comparative analyses across cases. However, a politically operative agenda of human rights would be defined rather differently; the very term “agenda” presupposes that relevant political actors are setting priorities within a larger possible universe of human rights concerns. The criterion for this agenda formation need not be the urgency of the issue; it may be its amenability to resolution, its salience as a focus of international concern, or the fact that it is an issue around which concerned actors are ready to mobilize. What is important is to identify which actors are engaged in issue definition, and what human rights issues are of central concern to them. Agendas vary in specificity, scope, and salience, as well as in the enforcement power able to be mobilized to pursue defined objectives. All this is relevant to outcomes in the form of human rights observance.

In this chapter, therefore, I will be looking at two clusters of actors—states, multilateral, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the international environment and the Russian government, party system, and NGOs

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A Force Profonde: The Power, Politics, and Promise of Human Rights
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Chapter 1 - A Force Profonde- The Power, Politics, and Promise of Human Rights 1
  • Part I - Contending Legitimacies 29
  • Chapter 2 - Western Perspectives 31
  • Chapter 3 - Muslim Perspectives 45
  • Part II - Regional Perspectives 69
  • Chapter 4 - The Northern Tier 71
  • Chapter 5 - North Africa 91
  • Chapter 6 - The Middle East- Israel 113
  • Chapter 7 - Northeast Asia- China 128
  • Chapter 8 - South Asia 144
  • Chapter 9 - Southeast Asia 163
  • Chapter 10 - The European Union 182
  • Chapter 11 - Eastern Europe- The Russian Federation 198
  • Chapter 12 - Latin America 220
  • Chapter 13 - Southern Africa 238
  • Chapter 14 - West Africa- Nigeria 260
  • Part III - Retrospect and Prospects 275
  • Chapter 15 - Whither Human Rights? 277
  • Notes 293
  • References Cited 299
  • Contributors 317
  • Index 319
  • Acknowledgments 339
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