Dr Mark Hurst

Lecturer in the History of Human Rights

Research Overview

Mark read Contemporary History at the University of Leicester before completing his doctoral research at the University of Kent. His research focuses on campaigns conducted by human rights organisations during the Cold War, and on activism more broadly in contemporary history. His recent monograph, British Human Rights Organisations and Soviet Dissent, 1965-1985 (Bloomsbury, 2016) is the first piece to critically assess the campaigns for Soviet dissidents from a number of human rights organisations, including Keston College, the Women's Campaign for Soviet Jewry, the Working Group on the Internment of Dissenters in Mental Hospitals, the Campaign Against Psychiatric Abuse, and Amnesty International. This monograph argues that although activists played an important role in broader awareness of Soviet human rights violations, it was not until conditions in international relations were right in the mid-1970s that they began to obtain recognition.

Mark's current research focuses on the history of Amnesty International, an organisation that has become synonymous with human rights concerns in the twentieth century. Despite this position, the influence of Amnesty International on the wider political process has been relatively understudied, something his research is aiming to address. He is particularly interested in how organisations such as Amnesty International functioned during the Cold War, when human rights issues were often at the forefront of international relations. Alongside this, Mark is interested more broadly in the history of human rights, dissent, and activism.

Alpe DHuez: Cyclings Greatest Climb
Hurst, M. 03/2018 In: Sport in History. 38, 1, 2 p.
Book/Film/Article review

What Oxfam can learn from charities that survived scandals
Hurst, M. 23/02/2018

Chronicling Trust in the Cold War
Hurst, M. 20/02/2018
Other contribution

A Superpower Transformed: The Remaking of American Foreign Relations in the 1970s by Daniel J. Sargent
Hurst, M. 03/2017 In: Human Rights Review. 2 p.
Book/Film/Article review

‘Slowing down the going-away process’ — Tom Stoppard and Soviet Dissent
Hurst, M. 13/06/2016 In: Contemporary British History. 30, 4, p. 484-504. 20 p.
Journal article

The Race Against the Stasi: The Incredible Story of Dieter Wiedemann, the Iron Curtain and the Greatest Cycling Race on Earth
Hurst, M. 3/06/2016 In: Sport in History.
Book/Film/Article review

British Human Rights Organizations and Soviet Dissent, 1965-1985
Hurst, M. 5/05/2016 London : Bloomsbury. 272 p. ISBN: 9781472527288.

The Birth of the Last Utopia: Is Keston Really a ‘human rights’ Group?
Hurst, M. 2015 In: Keston College Newsletter. p. 17-25. 9 p.
Journal article

Hiroaki Kuromiya: Conscience on Trial: The Fate of Fourteen Pacifists in Stalin's Ukraine, 1952–1953. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012; pp. 212.
Hurst, M. 09/2014 In: Journal of Religious History. 38, 3, 3 p.
Book/Film/Article review

To Build a Castle: The British Construction of Soviet Dissent
Hurst, M. 2013 In: e-Sharp. 7, p. 32-45. 14 p.
Journal article

Symbols and Legitimacy in Soviet Politics
Hurst, M. 2/11/2012 In: Europe-Asia Studies. 64, 10, 2 p.
Book/Film/Article review

Holy Fathers, Secular Sons: Clergy, Intelligentsia, and the Modern Self in Revolutionary Russia – By L. Manchester
Hurst, M. 2/09/2012 In: Journal of Religious History. 36, 3, 3 p.
Book/Film/Article review