Birnbaum, Karl E.
July 1977
Foreign Affairs;Jul1977, Vol. 55 Issue 4
The need to respect human rights has lately become the focus of public attention and debate. Such a development is clearly a reflection of rising popular expectations, which in some cases have led to a growing tension between governments and the governed People can discern a worldwide trend to assert individual and collective aspirations and to bring about changes in governmental processes at all levels in order to make them more responsive to these aspirations. This trend shows up in many forms from movements of national independence to devolution and demands for worker co-determination. In the United States and Western Europe a growing interest in the human dimension of world politics is seen by many as a natural and healthy reaction to an overemphasis on great power diplomacy, elitist cynicism, and to excessive secretiveness during the recent past.


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