After seventeen years of Russian membership in the Council of Europe, Russia and Europe still cannot achieve understanding with regard to human rights. The European Union often criticizes Russia for violating human rights, but Russia rejects all accusations and urges the European Union to turn its attention to its own human rights problems instead of focusing on Russia. Zakharova seeks to understand differences in opinion through analyzing discursive language constructed in human rights debates. She shows that participants of these bilateral negotiations use completely different languages – languages that often come into conflict with each other: «legal language» and the «language of morality». Given the main characteristics of European and Russian languages of human rights, Zakharova focuses on the question: what effects does the conflict of languages have on the debate over human rights between Russia and Europe.
Olesya Zakharova is Senior lecturer of Law at the Irkutsk State University; currently she is Alexander Herzen Junior Visiting Fellow at the IWM.
Olesya Zakharova’s latest article:
Linguistic Look at Russia’s Human Rights Record
The Moscow Times, April 9, 2013