The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy serves as the hub of the Harvard Kennedy School’s research, teaching, and training in the human rights domain. The center embraces a dual mission: to educate students and the next generation of leaders from around the world in human rights policy and practice; and to convene and provide policy-relevant knowledge to international organizations, governments, policymakers, and businesses.

 

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Latest Publications

Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Talks Ethics and Technology at Kennedy School

Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Talks Ethics and Technology at Kennedy School

Abstract:

Luís Roberto Barroso, current justice of the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil and senior fellow of the Harvard Kennedy School, warned that advances in technology will pose new dangers to Brazilian and American democratic institutions in a speech at the school Monday evening.
 

He said the development of artificial intelligence — which he called the “fourth industrial revolution” — will prompt urgent questions about the proper limits of freedom of expression on the internet, including ways to combat hate speech and fake news.

Read the full article here

: Michelle G. Kurilla | Sept 10 2019
: Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Talks Ethics and Technology at Kennedy School.
Last updated on 02/03/2020

The Education of an Idealist

Citation:

Samantha Power. 9/10/2019. The Education of an Idealist. Dey Street Books. See full text.
The Education of an Idealist

Abstract:

In her memoir, Power offers an urgent response to the question "What can one person do?"—and a call for a clearer eye, a kinder heart, and a more open and civil hand in our politics and daily lives.

The Education of an Idealist traces Power’s distinctly American journey from immigrant to war correspondent to presidential Cabinet official. In 2005, her critiques of US foreign policy caught the eye of newly elected senator Barack Obama, who invited her to work with him on Capitol Hill and then on his presidential campaign. After Obama was elected president, Power went from being an activist outsider to a government insider, navigating the halls of power while trying to put her ideals into practice. She served for four years as Obama's human rights adviser, and in 2013, he named her US Ambassador to the United Nations, the youngest American to assume the role.

Power transports us from her childhood in Dublin to the streets of war-torn Bosnia to the White House Situation Room and the world of high-stakes diplomacy. Humorous and deeply honest, The Education of an Idealist lays bare the searing battles and defining moments of her life and shows how she juggled the demands of a 24/7 national security job with the challenge of raising two young children. Along the way, she illuminates the intricacies of politics and geopolitics, reminding us how the United States can lead in the world, and why we each have the opportunity to advance the cause of human dignity. Power's memoir is an unforgettable account of the power of idealism and of one person's fierce determination to make a difference.

 

: Samantha Power | Sept 10 2019
: In her memoir, Power offers an urgent response to the question "What can one person do?"
Last updated on 02/03/2020

Technological Revolution, Democratic Recession and Climate Change: The Limits of Law in a Changing World

Citation:

Luís Roberto Barroso. 9/9/2019. Technological Revolution, Democratic Recession and Climate Change: The Limits of Law in a Changing World. Carr Center Discussion Paper Series. 2019009th ed. Cambridge: Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. Publisher's Version
Technological Revolution, Democratic Recession and Climate Change: The Limits of Law in a Changing World

Abstract:

 Law is a universal institution that has pretensions of being ubiquitous and complete. However, in a complex, plural and volatile world, its limits and possibilities are shaken by the speed, depth and extent of ongoing transformations, its resulting ethical dilemmas, and the difficulties of forming consensus in the political universe.

This article provides a reflection on how the Law has attempted to deal with some of the main afflictions of our time, facing demands that include the needs to (i) keep the technological revolution on an ethical and humanistic track, (ii) avoid that democracy be perverted by populist and authoritarian adventures and (iii) prevent solutions to climate change from coming only when it is too late. At a time when even the near future has become unpredictable, Law cannot provide a priori solutions to multiplying problems and anxieties. When this happens, we must set clear goals for the future of humanity, basing them on the essential and perennial values that have followed us since antiquity.

: Luis Roberto Barroso | Sept 9 2019
: Luís Roberto Barroso reflects on how on how the law has attempted to deal with some of the main afflictions of our time.
Last updated on 02/03/2020
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Upcoming Events

2020 Nov 12

Summit on Nonviolence and Nonviolent Resistance Today 

9:00am to 5:00pm

Location: 

Virtual Event (Registration Required)

The Summit on Nonviolence and Nonviolent Resistance Today will serve as an opportunity to share ideas and inspiration across fields and strategize about how to use individual perspectives and expertise to find new, creative approaches to conflict resolution.

Participants will have the opportunity to listen to past and current Topol Fellows present and discuss their works. We will provide additional information on the panels soon. 

This Summit, convened by the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, is made possible by the support of Sidney Topol and the Topol...

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2020 Nov 17

Towards Life 3.0: A Conversation with Shoshana Zuboff

5:30pm to 6:30pm

Location: 

Virtual Event (Registration Required)

Towards Life 3.0: Ethics and Technology in the 21st Century is a talk series organized and facilitated by Mathias Risse, Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Administration. Drawing inspiration from the title of Max Tegmark’s book, Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, the series draws upon a range of scholars, technology leaders, and public interest technologists to address the ethical aspects of the long-term impact of artificial intelligence on society and human...

Read more about Towards Life 3.0: A Conversation with Shoshana Zuboff

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2020 Dec 03

Social Movements and the Mattering of Black Lives

1:30pm to 2:30pm

Location: 

Virtual Event (Registration Required)

Please join the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy for its signature weekly series this fall, The Fierce Urgency of Now, featuring Black, Indigenous, People of Color scholars, activists, and community leaders, and experts from the Global South. Hosted and facilitated by Sushma Raman and Mathias Risse, the series also aligns with a course they will co-teach this fall at the Harvard Kennedy School on Economic Justice: Theory and Practice. 

Panelists:

  • Megan Ming Francis | Associate Professor,...
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“The Carr Center is building a bridge between ideas on human rights and the practice on the ground. Right now we are at a critical juncture. The pace of technological change and the rise of authoritarian governments are both examples of serious challenges to the flourishing of individual rights. It’s crucial that Harvard and the Kennedy School continue to be a major influence in keeping human rights ideals alive. The Carr Center is a focal point for this important task.”

- Mathias Risse