The Legal Cold War
Most research on the evolution of modern human rights downplays the role of the Cold War. Arguing against this trend in the literature, Mikael Rask Madsen, in a recent article, highlights the paramount role of the Cold War in the formation of human rights in Europe, and, not least, in understanding the field as such today.
Madsen critically points to a number of legal and sociological aspects in which the formation of human rights and, in particular, the Cold War are inseparable. Understanding the Cold War is, therefore, not only of historical value, but offers a key for understanding many of the issues relevant to current global competitions in area of human rights.
Read more in Mikael Rask Madsen: Human rights and the hegemony of ideology pp. in Yves Dezalay and Bryant G. Garth (ed.): Lawyers and the Construction of Transnational Justice (Routledge 2012)