Author Archives: Christie Miedema

About Christie Miedema

Christie Miedema is an historian with interest in transnational linkages across the ideological divides of the East-West conflict. In 2015 she published her dissertation Vrede of Vrijheid? (Peace or Freedom?) on Western left-wing movements and the Polish opposition in the 1980s. Her current research on Amnesty International and Eastern Europe is funded by the Working Group Human Rights in the 20th Century at the Fritz Thyssen Foundation. It resulted in the book Not a Movement of Dissidents. Amnesty International Beyond the Iron Curtain (Wallstein, 2019). Beyond her historical work, she is a campaigner at the labour rights organization Clean Clothes Campaign.

Impartial in the Cold War? The Challenges of Détente, Dissidence, and Eastern European Membership to Amnesty International’s Policy of Impartiality

Abstract: Amnesty International was born in the highly politicized context of the East-West conflict commonly known as the Cold War with the intention of transcending its fault lines. It developed a politics of impartiality that was however deeply rooted in the Cold War paradigm and followed the example of the Red Cross and its humanitarian activism. These two features impeded organization’s navigation of the fluctuating dynamics between East and West and hampered the emergence of a local membership beyond the Iron Curtain in the 1970s. Continue reading → Continue reading →