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

George Floyd and the History of Police Brutality in America

Citation:

Kadijatou Diallo and John Shattuck. 6/1/2020. “George Floyd and the History of Police Brutality in America.” Boston Globe. See full text.
George Floyd and the History of Police Brutality in America

Abstract:

Kadijatou Diallo and John Shattuck discuss the history of racist policing and violence against African Americans in the U.S.

 

The horrific death, captured on video, of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck, spotlights the longstanding crisis of racism in policing.

To understand the protests that have erupted across the United States, one needs to understand the deeply troubled history of policing and race. Police brutality, racial discrimination, and violence against minorities are intertwined and rooted throughout US history. Technology has made it possible for the level and extent of the problem finally to be publicly documented. The anger expressed in the wake of Floyd’s killing reflects the searing reality that Black people in the United States continue to be dehumanized and treated unjustly.

 

: John Shattuck et al. | June 1 2020
: Kadijatou Diallo and John Shattuck discuss the history of racist policing and violence against African Americans in the U.S.

Media Coverage Has Blown Anti-Lockdown Protests out of Proportion

Citation:

Erica Chenoweth, Lara Putnam, Tommy Leung, Jeremy Pressman, and Nathan Perkins. 5/10/2020. “Media Coverage Has Blown Anti-Lockdown Protests out of Proportion.” Vox. See full text.
Media Coverage Has Blown Anti-Lockdown Protests out of Proportion

Abstract:

Erica Chenoweth explains that anti-lockdown protests are smaller than portrayed, but the media is amplifying their message.

In the last few weeks, protests against state lockdowns and social distancing measures have seized national headlines. The wall-to-wall coverage might give the impression that what we’re seeing is a powerful grassroots movement in the making. But research we just conducted on protest attendance and media coverage shows something different: This massive media coverage has in fact been out of proportion.

A comprehensive look at the social distancing protests reveals that they have been small in terms of both the number of participants and locations. As one official in the administration of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) tweeted about a protest in Annapolis on April 20, “There were more media inquiries about this than there were participants.”

Read the full article.

 

: Erica Chenoweth et al. | May 10 2020
: Erica Chenoweth explains that anti-lockdown protests are smaller than portrayed, but the media is amplifying their message.
Last updated on 05/11/2020

Submission to the Commission on Unalienable Rights

Citation:

Gerald L. Neuman. 4/30/2020. “Submission to the Commission on Unalienable Rights.” Carr Center Discussion Paper Series, 2020-007. See full text.
Submission to the Commission on Unalienable Rights

Abstract:

The Charter of the Commission on Unalienable Rights includes the objective of proposing “reforms of human rights discourse where it has departed from our nation’s founding principles of natural law and natural rights.” This mission statement has prompted concern among some observers that the Commission is being asked to redirect U.S. human rights policy in ways that would be self-defeating and would create serious damage to international cooperation for the protection of human rights. In his address, Neuman addresses the claim that there are too many human rights; the protection of diverse sexuality; the equal priority of economic/social rights and civil/political rights; the usefulness of “natural law” at the international level; and the question of privileging freedom of religious conduct over other human rights.

Read the full paper here.

Gerald L. Neuman is the J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, and Comparative Law, and the Co-Director of the Human Rights Program at HLS. He teaches human rights, constitutional law, and immigration and nationality law. His current research focuses on international human rights bodies, transnational dimensions of constitutionalism, and rights of foreign nationals. He is the author of Strangers to the Constitution: Immigrants, Borders and Fundamental Law (Princeton 1996), and co-author of the casebook Human Rights (with Louis Henkin et al., Foundation Press).

: Gerald Neuman | Apr 30 2020
: Neuman addresses a myriad of human rights concerns to the Commission on Unalienable 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