Geopolitics of Human Rights: Universal dreams inflicting territorial nightmares?

Joni Tuomas Vainikka

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskning


In 2012, the Russian president Vladimir Putin signed an amendment to the law that controls the actions of non-governmental, or non-commercial organizations. Much to the outcry of prominent human rights activists and organizations the so-called foreign agent law started to curtail civil society freedoms and restricted the functionality of organizations stigmatized as foreign agents. As the political elite seeks to construct highly nationalistic public support that, for example, favours All-Russian organizations, the law portrays many networked, international, co-operative NGOs, from national human rights movements to independent research institutions, as suspicious. The legislature can be used to cut links aboard or to cease the operations of an NGO if they are found receiving any funding from abroad and if they are engaged in vaguely defined political activity. The legislation is especially troublesome for the human rights organizations, whose work is fundamentally networked. Following the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human rights, the Helsinki Accords of the 1975 Conference of Security and Cooperation underlined the tie between human rights and fundamental freedoms and the inviolability of borders and a security balance. For 18 years, Russia was making progress to a more networked European Society whose Constitution treated the Universal Declaration as a ‘founding document’. Now the atmosphere has turned nocuous for social movements that further the universal idea of human rights that cross territorial borders. Arguably, human rights have been pushed to the spotlight of geopolitics. Based on interviews with human rights movements in Finland (e.g., Amnesty), the paper conceptualizes the interplay between transnational networked space and forms of territorial power, and how the topological reach of NGOs is contested within the European space.
Publikationsdato26 okt. 2017
StatusUdgivet - 26 okt. 2017
Udgivet eksterntJa
BegivenhedMaantieteen päivät 2017: WELCOME TO FINLAND?
- The Annual Meeting of Finnish Geographers, University of Turku
- University of Turku, Turku, Finland
Varighed: 26 okt. 201727 okt. 2017


KonferenceMaantieteen päivät 2017: WELCOME TO FINLAND?
- The Annual Meeting of Finnish Geographers, University of Turku
LokationUniversity of Turku


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