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

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Harvard University Human Rights Centers Condemn Recent Police Violence in the United States

May 29, 2020

The Carr Center, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, FXB Center, Hutchins Center, and International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School denounce the vicious murder of George Floyd and other recent acts of racism in the U.S. ... Read more about Harvard University Human Rights Centers Condemn Recent Police Violence in the United States

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Latest Publications

The Future of Nonviolent Resistance

Citation:

Erica Chenoweth. 7/2020. “The Future of Nonviolent Resistance.” Journal of Democracy , 31, 3, Pp. 69-84. See full text.
The Future of Nonviolent Resistance

Full Text

Erica Chenoweth examines the recent decline of civil-resistance campaigns and argues recent setbacks, like the pandemic, have served as a much-needed reset for movements around the world.

Over the past fifty years, nonviolent civil resistance has overtaken armed struggle as the most common form of mobilization used by revolutionary movements. Yet even as civil resistance reached a new peak of popularity during the 2010s, its effectiveness had begun to decline—even before the covid-19 pandemic brought mass demonstrations to a temporary halt in early 2020. This essay argues that the decreased success of nonviolent civil resistance was due not only to savvier state responses, but also to changes in the structure and capabilities of civil-resistance movements themselves. Perhaps counterintuitively, the coronavirus pandemic may have helped to address some of these underlying problems by driving movements to turn their focus back to relationship-building, grassroots organizing, strategy, and planning.

: Erica Chenoweth | July 2020
: Erica Chenoweth examines the recent decline of civil-resistance campaigns and argues recent setbacks, like the pandemic, have served as a much-needed reset for movements around the world.
Last updated on 07/31/2020

Attacks on the Press Track a Democratic Backslide

Attacks on the Press Track a Democratic Backslide

Abstract:

According to Sushma Raman, freedom of press is eroding around the world - including in democratic countries.

The recent conviction of the journalist Maria Ressa in the Philippines for “cyber libel” has brought into sharp relief the global deterioration of press freedom. Across the world, fundamental freedoms of association, expression, and assembly are under threat. A recent report from Civicus found that twice as many people live under repression today as a year ago. Although much of that is due to diminishing freedoms in countries whose governments have long been known for their heavy hands, an increasing number of attacks on the media have come in places where press freedom was once enshrined.

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: Sushma Raman | June 29 2020
: According to Sushma Raman, freedom of press is eroding around the world - including in democratic countries.
Last updated on 07/22/2020

The white press has a history of endangering black lives going back a century

The white press has a history of endangering black lives going back a century

Abstract:

The Black Lives Matter protests have been shaking up not just conversations about policing, but also almost every industry — including journalism. As Washington Post media reporters Paul Farhi and Sarah Ellison wrote this weekend, “Like the nation itself, news organizations across the country are facing a racial reckoning, spurred by protests from their own journalists.”

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: Megan Ming Francis | June 15 2020
: In 1919, the white national press spread a false story that covered up a white massacre of African Americans in Arkansas.
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Upcoming Events

2021 Apr 15

Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know by Erica Chenoweth

3:00pm to 4:00pm

Location: 

Virtual Event (Registration Required)

Join us for the book launch of Dr. Erica Chenoweth’s new book, Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know. We will be discussing the relevance of nonviolent social movements with a cross-section of activists and scholars. In Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know, Erica Chenoweth -- one of the world's leading scholars on the topic--explains what civil resistance is, how it works, why it sometimes fails, how violence and repression affect it, and the long-term impacts of such resistance. 

Panelists:

  • Alice...
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2021 Apr 16

Social Justice Leaders Series led by Dr. Keisha N. Blain

1:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: 

Virtual Event (Registration Required)

This webinar series, curated by Carr Center Fellow Keisha N. Blain, will feature social justice leaders working at the local, national, and international level. The series will highlight the work of leaders of color who are actively challenging racism and advancing human rights.

Panelists:

  • Dr. Uché Blackstock | Founder and CEO, Advancing Health Equity
  • Dr. Keisha N. Blain (Moderator) | Associate Professor of History, University of Pittsburgh; Fellow, Carr Center

...

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2021 Apr 20

Innovating Our Approach to Human Rights in North Korea

6:00pm to 7:30pm

Location: 

Virtual Event (Registration Required)

Join the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, for a conversation on Innovating Our Approach to Human Rights in North Korea: Investing in the Freedom & Empowerment of the North Korean People.

Due to global awareness campaigns around the North Korean regime’s crimes against humanity against its people, the world now knows of just how much North Korean people suffer at the hands of their totalitarian regime. Given that there is a baseline of public knowledge regarding the deplorable human rights...

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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