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. 

  •  
  • 1 of 50
  • »
See all announcements

Latest Publications

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

Citation:

John Shattuck. 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.

: John Shattuck | 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 10/07/2020

AI Principle Proliferation as a Crisis of Legitimacy

Citation:

Mark Latonero. 9/30/2020. “AI Principle Proliferation as a Crisis of Legitimacy.” Carr Center Discussion Paper Series, 2020-011. See full text.
AI Principle Proliferation as a Crisis of Legitimacy

Abstract:

While Artificial Intelligence is a burgeoning field today, there is a growing concern about the mushrooming of proposed principles on how AI should be governed.

In his latest Carr Center discussion paper, fellow Mark Latonero posits that human rights could serve to stabilize AI governance, particularly if framed as an anchor to guide AI usage that could avert both everyday and catastrophic social harms.

Read the full document here. 

: Mark Latonero | Sept 30 2020
: While Artificial Intelligence is a burgeoning field today, there is a growing concern about the mushrooming of proposed principles on how AI should be governed.
Last updated on 10/05/2020

Dangerous Science: Might Population Genetics or Artificial Intelligence Undermine Philosophical Ideas about Equality?

Dangerous Science: Might Population Genetics or Artificial Intelligence Undermine Philosophical Ideas about Equality?

Abstract:

This paper was prepared for an interdisciplinary conference on Gefährliche Forschung? (Dangerous Science?) held at the University of Cologne in February 2020 and is scheduled to appear in a volume of contributions from that event edited by Wilfried Hinsch and Susanne Brandstätter, the organizers, and to be published by de Gruyter. The paper delves into the question proposed to me—might population genetics or artificial intelligence undermine philosophical ideas about equality—without locating the context of this debate or offering a preview of its contents. The first section discusses the ideal of equality, the next two talk about genetics in the context of responses to racism, and the remaining two speak about possible changes that might come from the development of general Artificial Intelligence.

Read full text here

: Mathias Risse | Aug 17 2020
: Risse delves into the extent to which population genetics or artificial intelligence might undermine philosophical ideas about equality—both generally speaking and in the context of responses to racism.
Last updated on 08/16/2020
  •  
  • 1 of 56
  • »
See all publications

Upcoming Events

2020 Oct 29

Advocating for the Rights of People on the Move: A conversation with Refugee Community Leaders

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.

Join us for a conversation with refugee community leaders on economic justice and migration. Abid Shamdeen, co-founder of...

Read more about Advocating for the Rights of People on the Move: A conversation with Refugee Community Leaders

Registration: 

2020 Oct 29

#BlackLivesMatter Across The Americas: Black Youth Organizers and the Struggle for Racial Justice

4:00pm to 5:00pm

Location: 

Virtual Event (Registration Required)

Join the second event in the What Justice Looks Like series for a conversation with activists from Black youth-led movements from the US and Latin America, leading the struggle against racial injustice, from police violence to structural racism and disparate effects of the COVID pandemic on racialized and low-income communities.

Speakers:

  • Ana Belique, Reconocido Movement (Santo Domingo)
  • Daniela Rincón, Casa Cultural El Chontaduro (Cali)
  • Marcelle Decothé...
Read more about #BlackLivesMatter Across The Americas: Black Youth Organizers and the Struggle for Racial Justice
2020 Nov 05

Philanthropy and Inequality

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:

  • Dr. Carmen Rojas | President and CEO, Marguerite...
Read more about Philanthropy and Inequality

Registration: 

  •  
  • 1 of 3
  • »
See all events

“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