Human Rights Relations between Europe and Russia

A genealogy of diverging concepts


  • Amelie Harbisch Jacobs University/University of Bremen



constructivism, EU-Russia relations, genealogy, human rights, Pussy Riot


There is a gap between the academic discourse’s acknowledgement of the importance of the question of diverging values in the relations between Russia and the European Union (EU), especially in the light of recent human rights cases, and the ongoing tendency of recent analyses of EU-Russia human rights relations to focus on rationalist cost-benefit accounts which leave out value interpretation issues. I seek to fill this gap by genealogically analyzing the origin of different human rights understandings of Europe and Russia and their constitution of the scope of foreign policy action. The results point to a high divergence of the meaning of human rights between the European Union and Russia as well as a high relevance of this divergence for both parties’ foreign action and identity formation.

Author Biography

Amelie Harbisch, Jacobs University/University of Bremen

Amelie Harbisch, 23, is a graduate student in the M.A. program “International Relations: Global Governance and Social Theory” at the Jacobs University/University of Bremen. She received her Bachelor in "European Studies" at the University of Magdeburg in 2013, working already in her Bachelor Thesis on Human Rights relations between Russia and the European Union. Her interests include human rights and the role of ideas and identity in international relations in general and for EU-Russia relations specifically.




How to Cite

Harbisch, A. (2014). Human Rights Relations between Europe and Russia: A genealogy of diverging concepts. Politikon: The IAPSS Journal of Political Science, 25, 37–55.