Journal Article

Advancing Human Rights in Post-Authoritarian Communities through Education

Benjamin Gregg

in Journal of Human Rights Practice

Volume 7, issue 2, pages 199-222
Published in print July 2015 | ISSN: 1757-9619
Published online May 2015 | e-ISSN: 1757-9627 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jhuman/huv005
Advancing Human Rights in Post-Authoritarian Communities through Education

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For two decades now, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Russia, have been transitioning from authoritarian pasts to somewhat more liberal forms of social and political organization. The development of human rights consciousness confronts three core challenges posed by the legacy of twentieth century communism: associational life reduced to niche or clique; lack of trust; and discouragement of individual personhood. Practitioners can meet these challenges through a new approach to civic education. I show how, in four steps: (1) I propose human rights advocacy by means of a ‘cognitive style’, (2) deployed within civic education, (3) in ways that encourage civic participation. (4) I conclude by sketching three forms of a human rights cognitive style to spur civic education and participation: for professional activists; for non-professional community activists; and for educational deployment.

Keywords: Central and Eastern Europe; civic education; cognitive styles; communist legacies; human rights; post-authoritarianism

Journal Article.  10470 words. 

Subjects: Ethical Issues and Debates ; Human Rights and Immigration ; Human Rights ; Politics ; Social Movements and Social Change

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