BOOK REVIEWS Die Kirchen im KSZE-Prozess 1968-1978 (The struggle of churches within the Helsinki Process) Kattiarina Kunter, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-17-015977-1, 264 p. 'It remains one of the great paradoxes of the era of east-west confrontation that the [Helsinki] Final Act, which originally was based on a Soviet initiative and was propagated by Moscow as a great victory for Soviet diplomacy, soon turned into an effective tool of the dissidents, their NGOs, and the western democracies and in this way made a substantial contribution to undermining the legitimacy of the communist regimes of eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.' This intriguing conclusion about the CSCE, here formulated by the Chairman of the Netherlands Helsinki Committee, Mr. J.H. van Roijen, points to the unexpected but fruitful cooperation between governments and NGOs in Europe during the last three decades. For communist regimes in the eastern part of Europe the agreements signed in Helsinki turned into a kind of Trojan horse, which together with many other factors brought an end to dictatorship. One group in society is not explicitly mentioned in this evalution, i.e. the churches. They are often placed in the NGO category, even when they do not consider themselves
Helsinki Monitor (in 2008 continued as Security and Human Rights) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2000
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