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.

 

News and Announcements

Op Ed

Americans have more in common than you might think

September 16, 2020

In his latest op-ed for the Boston Globe, John Shattuck describes findings from his team's national survey, noting that Americans have a more expansive view of their rights and freedoms. 

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Latest Publications

Carr Center Annual Report: 2019-2020

Citation:

Carr Center Human Rights for Policy. 11/2/2020. Carr Center Annual Report: 2019-2020. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Kennedy School. See the Report
Carr Center Annual Report: 2019-2020

Abstract:

The Carr Center is pleased to launch its 2019-2020 Annual Report. Take a look at our work, and learn how to get involved. 

This past academic year, we’ve seen significant economic anxiety, political uncertainty, and public health failures besiege communities and societies around the world. We’ve also witnessed acts of solidarity and kinship—the Black Lives Matter protests sweeping the United States, the rise of social movements holding authoritarian leaders to account, and communities offering mutual aid to vulnerable people impacted by the pandemic.

We hope that you remain engaged with our work in the coming months. After all, human rights are not just about institutions, laws, and policies. They are about people coming together, hoping to make the world and their communities a better place—more just, more equitable, and more peaceful. 

Read the Annual Report

 

 

: Carr Center | Nov 2 2020
: The Carr Center is pleased to launch its 2019-2020 Annual Report. Take a look at our work, and learn how to get involved. 
Last updated on 12/05/2020

Black Lives Matter protesters were overwhelmingly peaceful, our research finds

Citation:

Erica Chenoweth and Jeremy Pressman. 10/20/2020. “Black Lives Matter protesters were overwhelmingly peaceful, our research finds.” The Spokesman Review. Read the article.
Black Lives Matter protesters were overwhelmingly peaceful, our research finds

Abstract:

When the Department of Homeland Security released its Homeland Threat Assessment earlier this month, it emphasized that self-proclaimed white supremacist groups are the most dangerous threat to U.S. security. But the report misleadingly added that there had been “over 100 days of violence and destruction in our cities,” referring to the anti-racism uprisings of this past summer.

In fact, the Black Lives Matter uprisings were remarkably nonviolent. When there was violence, very often police or counterprotesters were reportedly directing it at the protesters.

Read the article. 

: Erica Chenoweth et al. | Oct 20 2020
: Research shows the Black Lives Matters protests were extraordinarily nonviolent, and extraordinarily nondestructive, given the unprecedented size of the movement’s participation and geographic scope.

Reimagining Rights and Responsibilities in the United States: Toward a More Equal Liberty

Citation:

John Shattuck and Mathias Risse. 10/8/2020. “Reimagining Rights and Responsibilities in the United States: Toward a More Equal Liberty.” Reimagining Rights and Responsibilities in the United States, 2020-01. See full text.
Reimagining Rights and Responsibilities in the United States: Toward a More Equal Liberty

Abstract:

Americans today know they face threats to their rights, their democracy, their health and their economy. These threats are interrelated and demand a transformative response. Transformations have occurred at other pivotal moments in our nation’s history—at its founding during the American Revolution, its Reconstruction after the Civil War, its recovery from the Great Depression, its rise after World War II, and its reimagining during the Civil Rights Movement. Can today become a similar moment of transformation, turning threats into opportunities through the power of civic activism, voting, and government response? Can we reimagine the promise of rights that bind us together as a nation of diverse histories, identities, and lived experiences? 
 
With the release of their nonpartisan, evidence-based report, Reimagining Rights and Responsibilities in the United States, researchers at Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights provide a guide for the nation wrestling with its values. This blueprint for protecting and expanding citizens’ rights proposes policy changes to strengthen democratic processes; safeguard equal protection, equal opportunity, and due process of law; and better protect freedoms of speech, media, religion and privacy. The Reimagining Rights and Responsibilities Project is directed by John Shattuck, Carr Center Senior Fellow and former US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. The report and the project are overseen by a faculty committee chaired by Carr Center Faculty Director Mathias Risse.
 
The report offers an in-depth analysis of the state of rights in America in 2020, and then offers 80 recommendations to address failures to protect these rights. The Reimagining Rights team researched fifteen topics in five broad categories that are fundamental to protecting and expanding citizens’ rights. The Carr Center will continue to publish the fifteen reports in the coming months that expand upon specific rights domains in greater detail, including voting rights, money in politics, civic education, racial equality, women’s rights, and other areas of research. Sign up for our newsletter and follow our social media channels to stay up-to-date as we release each report.

Read the Executive Summary.

 

Read the Additional Reports: 

  1. Voting Rights
  2. Money in Politics
  3. Civic Education
  4. Racial Discrimination
  5. Women's Rights
  6. LGBTQ+ Rights
  7. Disability Rights
  8. Equal Access
  9. Immigration
  10. Criminal Justice & Public Safety
  11. Gun Rights & Public Safety
  12. Freedom of Speech & Media
  13. Religious Freedom
  14. Hate Crimes
  15. Privacy, Personal Data, and Surveillance
: John Shattuck, Mathias Risse | Oct 8 2020
: Researchers at Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights provide a guide for the nation wrestling with its values.
Last updated on 04/23/2021
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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