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Trust, but VerifyThe Politics of Uncertainty and the Transformation of the Cold War Order, 1969-1991$
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Martin Klimke, Reinhild Kreis, and Christian F. Ostermann

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804798099

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804798099.001.0001

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“No Crowing”: Reagan, Trust, and Human Rights

“No Crowing”: Reagan, Trust, and Human Rights

(p.42) 2. “No Crowing”: Reagan, Trust, and Human Rights
Trust, but Verify

Sarah B. Snyder

Stanford University Press

This chapter explores Ronald Reagan's strategy of “quiet diplomacy” toward the Soviet Union with regard to human rights as a trust-building initiative, arguing that the success of that approach was key in the developments that finally brought the Cold War to an end. It examines Reagan's efforts for exit visas on behalf of human rights activists, Jewish refuseniks, and religious dissidents such as Pentecostals, following the trail of his strategy through the 1985 Geneva and 1986 Reykjavik summits until his departure from office. The chapter demonstrates how Reagan's promise not to “crow” about his successes in this area and his decision to limit public pressure on Gorbachev about human rights led to increasing concessions by the Soviet Union, which fostered a rising level of trust in their relationship and eventually facilitated the end of the Cold War.

Keywords:   Ronald Reagan, quiet diplomacy, human rights, trust-building initiatives, exit visas, Mikhail Gorbachev

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