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Outraged, yet moderate and impartial: the rise of Amnesty International in the Netherlands in the 1960s and 1970s

Bouwman, Bastiaan (2017) Outraged, yet moderate and impartial: the rise of Amnesty International in the Netherlands in the 1960s and 1970s. BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review, 132 (4). pp. 53-74. ISSN 0165-0505

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Identification Number: 10.18352/bmgn-lchr.10218

Abstract

This article contributes to the recent historiography on human rights by analysing the rise of Amnesty International in the Netherlands. It uses the Dutch section’s archives extensively for the first time and explores how, despite the first section’s failure to gain traction, upon its second founding it quickly grew into one of the largest national sections of Amnesty. Apart from highlighting differences in approach between the first and the second group of organisers, this article explains the remarkable success of the latter. It focuses on the interaction between Amnesty’s ‘model’ and the Dutch cultural and political context, discussing how the national section’s leadership mediated this. The organisation capitalised on the idealism of the 1970s while steering clear of radicalisation and political polarisation in both the national and international spheres. In addition, the Dutch section’s approach and message spoke directly to memories of World War II, while organisational innovation allowed it to tap into growing reserves of volunteers and members, contributing to a more general shift in Amnesty’s work.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.bmgn-lchr.nl/
Additional Information: © 2017 KNHG
Divisions: International History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DJ Netherlands (Holland)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > International History
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2018 14:21
Last Modified: 17 May 2019 09:57
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/87468

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