- Curbing Labour's Totalitarian Temptation: European Human Rights Law and British Postwar Politics
- Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development
- University of Pennsylvania Press
- Volume 3, Number 3, Winter 2012
- pp. 361-383
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- Additional Information
This article highlights the pivotal role that British Conservatives played in championing and framing European human rights law in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. It argues that this postwar moment of Conservative enthusiasm for international human rights institutions was a response to the momentary anxieties of a party in political opposition, some of whose members genuinely feared what they decried as the "totalitarian" powers of the British Labour government. The omission of economic and social rights from the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) reflected the hostility of leading Conservative politicians such as Winston Churchill and David Maxwell Fyfe towards Labour's economic and social policies.