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

Carr Center 2021-2022 Annual Report

Citation:

Carr Center Human Rights for Policy. 9/9/2022. Carr Center 2021-2022 Annual Report. Harvard Kennedy School. Publisher's Version
annualreport_22.pdf8.66 MB
Carr Center 2021-2022 Annual Report

Abstract:

The world is rapidly changing, and with it, the human rights landscape continues to shift. As these changes continue, so does the work of the Carr Center to bring human rights front-and-center into our everyday lives. Our 2021-2022 annual report highlights the Carr Center’s growing reach over the past year, thanks to the continued expansion of our programs and the dedication of our faculty, fellows, and students to human rights policy and research.

 

Our new research, publications, books, podcast episodes, and webinars over the course of the year—created in tandem with our faculty and fellows—have reached over 150 countries around the world, bringing the Carr Center’s mission into the homes, universities, and workplaces of thousands. To learn more about what the Carr Center accomplished during the 2021-2022 academic year, click the link below.

Read the report.

teaser text: Our 2021-2022 annual report highlights the Carr Center’s growing reach over the past year, thanks to the continued expansion of our programs and the dedication of our faculty, fellows, and students to human rights policy and research.
Last updated on 09/15/2022

Populism, Authoritarianism, and Institutional Resistance: Constitutional Courts in the Game of Power

22_carr_barroso.pdf1.95 MB
Populism, Authoritarianism, and Institutional Resistance: Constitutional Courts in the Game of Power

Abstract:

Democratic constitutionalism was the victorious ideology of the 20th century, having defeated the alternatives that appeared over the decades: communism, fascism, Nazism, military regimes, and religious fundamentalism. However, in these first decades of the 21st century, something seems to not be going very well. Some describe it as a democratic recession. This paper identifies three phenomena that underlie this historical process: populism, extremism, and authoritarianism, as well as their political, economic-social, and cultural-identity causes. Then, after an analysis of the world context, this article focuses on the Brazilian experience in recent years, narrating the threats to constitutional legality and the institutional reaction. The final part discusses the limits and possibilities of constitutional courts in the exercise of their role of defending constitutionalism and democracy.

Read the Paper.
author/date: Justice Luís Roberto Barroso | Jul 14, 2022
teaser text: An examination of populism, extremism, and authoritarianism, and the role constitutional courts can play in defending democracy.
Last updated on 08/02/2022

A More Equal Future? Political Equality, Discrimination, and Machine Learning

Citation:

Joshua Simons and Eli Frankel. 5/3/2022. “A More Equal Future? Political Equality, Discrimination, and Machine Learning.” Technology and Democracy Discussion Paper Series. Publisher's Version
A More Equal Future? Political Equality, Discrimination, and Machine Learning

Abstract:

Machine learning is everywhere. AI-evangelists promise that data-driven decision-making will not only boost organizational efficiency, it will also help make organizations fairer and advance social justice. Yet the effects of machine learning on social justice, human rights, and democracy will depend not on the technology itself, but on human choices about how to design and deploy it. Among the most important is whether and how to ensure systems do not reproduce and entrench pervasive patterns of inequality.

The authors argue that we need radical civil rights reforms to regulate AI in the digital age, and must return to the roots of civil rights. This paper is adapted from Josh Simons's forthcoming book, Algorithms for the People: Democracy in the Age of AI, published by Princeton University Press this Fall.

Read the paper.

author/date: Joshua Simons et al. | May 3 2022
teaser text: Machine learning is everywhere. Yet the effects of machine learning on social justice, human rights, and democracy will depend not on the technology itself, but on human choices about how to design and deploy it.
Last updated on 05/03/2022
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Upcoming Events

2022 Oct 20

How to Punish War Crimes: Recent German Experiences in Bringing War Criminals to Justice

5:00pm to 6:00pm

Location: 

NYE ABC

Crimes against humanity must not go unpunished: No matter where they are committed, no matter who commits them. This is the ambitious and powerful conviction that underpins international criminal law. Germany has been striving for several years – particularly in light of its own history – to put this conviction into action. Landmark decisions have been handed down by German courts against perpetrators belonging to the Assad regime in Syria. Today, the German Federal Public Prosecutor General is investigating Russian war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine. Once again, we wish...

Read more about How to Punish War Crimes: Recent German Experiences in Bringing War Criminals to Justice

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2022 Oct 27

The End of Digital Democracy and What We Can Do About It

4:00pm to 5:00pm

Location: 

Virtual Event (Registration Required)

Towards Life 3.0: Ethics and Technology in the 21st Century is a talk series organized and facilitated by Dr. Mathias Risse, Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, and Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights, Global Affairs, and Philosophy and Sushma Raman, Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. Drawing inspiration from the title of Max Tegmark’s book, Life 3.0: Being...

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2022 Nov 08

Leading from The Human Rights Frontlines

12:00pm to 1:00pm

Location: 

Wexner 102

Please join us for a study group on human rights at the Harvard Kennedy School!

The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy invites you to join a study group on the role of national human rights institutions, public consultations, documentation of human rights violations, and protection of victims. The study group, which will meet two times this semester, is convened and moderated by Nicholas Opiyo, Fellow at the Carr Center for Human...

Read more about Leading from The Human Rights Frontlines
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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