Gorbachev, Italian Communism and Human Rights

Rethinking Political Culture at the End of the Cold War

edited by Silvio Pons
Collana: Viella Historical Research, 24
Pubblicazione: Dicembre 2022
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pp. 178, 15,5x23 cm, hardback
ISBN: 9788833138664
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The chapters brought together in this volume build on the idea that in the 1970s-1980s the global language of human rights contributed to stimulating ideas of reform in the communist world. The protagonists were Mikhail Gorbachev and the Italian communists. The experience of the PCI was in many ways a peculiar case, but one that was linked to underground ideas of cultural change even in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Gorbachev's ascent signalled a fundamental shift, as he rejected the approach of reducing human rights to an ideological battleground and instead made it the centrepiece of a universalist relaunch.

By exploring the encounter between reform communists and human rights, the authors reconstruct the metamorphosis and the end of communism within the context of the wider transformations taking place in European political cultures at the end of the Cold War.

  • Introduction
  • Silvio Pons, Gorbachev, Sakharov and the End of the Cold War: Human Rights, Democratisation and Universalism
  • Riccardo Mario Cucciolla, The Soviet International Agenda on Human Rights and the “Second Helsinki Process”
  • Adriano Roccucci, Gorbachev, Pope John Paul II and the Law on Freedom of Conscience in the Soviet Union
  • Gianluca Fiocco, Italian Communists and Human Rights (1968-1991)
  • Gabriele Siracusano, From the Rights of Peoples to Individual Rights: The PCI in Africa, Decolonisation and North-South Cooperation
  • Arianna Pasqualini, Solidarity, Anti-Racism and Human Rights: Italian Communists and the Struggle Against Apartheid
  • Index
  • Contributors

Cover illustration: Gorbyday, Milan, 1 December 1989 © Alessandro Gatto.

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