Author Archives: Peter Slezkine

About Peter Slezkine

is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at Columbia University. His interests include the rise of the human rights movement, the symbolic status of political prisoners as targets of international activism, and the reconceptualization of the Cold War in the 1970s.

Peter Slezkine Round table: Peter Slezkine responds

This post is the final response in our round table on Peter Slezkine’s essay from our most recent issue. Be sure to read the entries by Stephen Hopgood, Kenneth Roth, Aryeh Neier, and Bart De Sutter. I would like to thank Stephen Hopgood, Kenneth Roth, Aryeh Neier, and Bart de Sutter for their thoughtful comments. De Sutter is right to point to the limited availability of the internal documentation of Human Rights Watch (HRW). Much remains to be discovered, and I look forward to learning more about the history of the Helsinki Continue reading →

From Helsinki to Human Rights Watch: How an American Cold War Monitoring Group Became an International Human Rights Institution

Download PDF On September 7, 2010, George Soros gave Human Rights Watch (HRW) a $100 million grant, the largest in its history. “I’m afraid the United States has lost the moral high ground under the Bush administration, but the principles that Human Rights Watch promotes have not lost their universal applicability,” he said. “So to be more effective, I think the organization has to be seen as more international, less an American organization.”1 Today, it is taken for granted that HRW’s scope should be international Continue reading →