Helsinki, Human Rights, and the Gorbachev Style [Abstract]

Ethics & International Affairs, Volume 1 (1987)

December 2, 1987

Human rights is one of three issues addressed by the Helsinki Accord, alongside security and trade matters. In the mid-seventies the accord was greeted with enthusiasm by the Soviet Union, which saw it as a means to reduce the U.S. presence in Europe. The United States, which played a limited role in drafting the accord, feared it might result in a betrayal of the various nationalities of Eastern Europe by its tacit acceptance of Soviet territorial arrangements. Over the next ten years the human rights section of the accord would become a central point of contention between the superpowers. Korey traces the evolution of the dispute and discusses Gorbachev's uneven attempts to improve the Soviet Union's recognition of human rights.

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