Soviet Union and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - New Paper on SSRN

April 21, 2017

Soviet Union and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by Anna Lukina has recently been published in our SSRN Research Paper Series.

This essay examines the Soviet role in the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, drawing distinctions between the Soviet and the Western models of fundamental rights up to 1948, with the Soviet context put into perspective via a comprehensive historical review of its origins and development. Furthermore, the supposed characteristics of the Soviet concept of fundamental rights are applied to the 1948 debate, with Soviet speeches and proposals thoroughly examined from that standpoint. It is argued that the disagreement displayed between both sides of the negotiation stemmed from the Soviet understanding of human rights being more collectivist and focused on economic and social rights. Hence, the essay intends to challenge the common perception of the USSR as only being hostile to human rights and opens a conversation about firstly fundamental, and then human rights as diplomatic devices.

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