International Conference: Beyond 1989: Childhood and Youth in Times of Political Transformation in the 20th Century

Beyond 1989: Childhood and Youth in Times of Political Transformation in the 20th Century Institute of Advanced Studies at the...

Revolution From Within: Experts, Managers and Technocrats in the Long Transformation of 1989

The programme for our collaborative conference with Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena is now available. The conference will form Imre Kertész Kolleg...

Registration Open for our British Academy Conference: Global Neoliberalism, 7-8 June 2018

Global Neoliberalism: Lost and Found in Translation British Academy Conference 7-8 June 2018 The University of Exeter and 1989 after...

Secret Agents and the Memory of Everyday Collaboration in Communist Eastern Europe

Professor James Mark’s co-edited volume Secret Agents and the Memory of Everyday Collaboration in Communist Eastern Europe is now available through...

The Future of the Past: Why the End of Yugoslavia is Still Important

By Ljubica Spaskovska A new socialist model is emerging in the western Balkans. Can its political vocabulary transcend the ethno-national dividing...

Writing Human Rights into the History of State Socialism

By Ned Richardson-Little The collapse of the Communist Bloc in 1989-1991 is viewed as one of the great triumphs of...

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Dr Ned Richardson-Little

Associate Research Fellow


Originally from Canada, Ned Richardson-Little completed his doctoral work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was an Associate Research Fellow with the 1989 after 1989 research group from 2014-2018. His research with the project examined the history the globalization of human rights and international law in East Germany and the Eastern Bloc.

While 1989 and the collapse of state socialism is held up as the end point of the international human rights movement and the culmination of decades of activism and diplomacy his research complicates the triumphalist narratives of good inevitably overcoming evil, ushering in a unified global human rights culture, by examining the complexity and plurality of human rights in late socialism. His first monograph, “The Human Rights Dictatorship: Sovereignty, Dissent, and Revolution in East Germany 1945-1990,” will be appearing soon with Cambridge University Press.

With the support of a Freigeist Fellowship from the Volkswagen Stiftung, Ned is now leading the research project “The Other Global Germany: Transnational Criminality and Deviant Globalization in Germany” at the University of Erfurt. You can read more about the project here:



Special Issue with Dr. Raluca Grosescu (Exeter) The Socialist World and Post-War International Criminal and Humanitarian Law. Journal of the History of International Law. (02/2019)

  •  Introduction with Dr. Raluca Grosescu (Exeter) “Rethinking the Role of the Socialist Bloc in the Genesis of International Law.”
  • “The Drug War in a Land Without Drugs: East Germany and the Socialist Embrace of International Narcotics Law.”

“Human Rights, Pluralism and the Democratization of East and West Germany,” in Harald Wenzel, Konrad Jarausch, and Karin Goihl (eds), Different Germans, Many Germanies: New Transatlantic Perspectives (Berghahn, 2016).

“Human Rights as Myth and History: Between the Revolutions of 1989 and the Arab Spring,” Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, (23:2-3, 2015, 151-166).“

Between Dictatorship and Dissent: Ideology, Legitimacy and Human Rights in East Germany, 1945-1990,” German Historical Institute Bulletin 56 (Spring 2015)

the breakthrough human rights

Dictatorship and Dissent: Human Rights in East Germany in the 1970s, in Eckel J, Moyn S (eds) The Breakthrough: Human Rights in the 1970s, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013

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