“More than an abstract principle”: Reimagining rights in the Communist Party of Australia, 1956–1971

Journal article


Piccini, Jon. (2015) “More than an abstract principle”: Reimagining rights in the Communist Party of Australia, 1956–1971. Journal of Australian Studies. 39(2), pp. 200 - 215. https://doi.org/10.1080/14443058.2015.1018924
AuthorsPiccini, Jon
Abstract

The Communist Party of Australia (CPA) increasingly adopted ideas of universal rights throughout the 1960s. Responding to changes in the Soviet Union and the party's increasing irrelevancy at home, leading members of the CPA theorised a universal notion of rights—one that applied equally either side of the Iron Curtain—to critique Soviet actions on a variety of questions. In a local setting, the party aired for the first- time significant critiques of its history and practices, particularly rethinking its fraught relationship with Australian democratic freedom and rights, and recasting itself as a defender and extender rather than an ideological opponent of such ideas. Though brief, this engagement with these previously apostate ideas tells us much about the nature of the Australian party during this turbulent period and adds to our understanding of the transnational evolution of activist rights rhetoric and ideas.

KeywordsAustralian history; history of ideas; transnational history; human rights history; communism—twentieth century
Year2015
JournalJournal of Australian Studies
Journal citation39 (2), pp. 200 - 215
PublisherRoutledge
ISSN1444-3058
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/14443058.2015.1018924
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84937731249
Page range200 - 215
Research GroupSchool of Arts
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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