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

College Students Don’t Turn out to Vote. Here’s How to Change That

College Students Don’t Turn out to Vote. Here’s How to Change That

Abstract:

Kathryn Sikkink maps out a plan to encourage voter turnout among college students. 

College students have traditionally voted at one of the lowest rates of any group in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In the 2018 midterm election, the voting rate at U.S. colleges and universities more than doubled from the previous midterm, jumping from 19% in 2014 to 40%. That increase was 7 percentage points higher than the increase in voting rates among all Americans.

: Kathryn Sikkink | Jan 30 2020
: Kathryn Sikkink maps out a plan to encourage voter turnout among college students. 
Last updated on 02/25/2020

Can Facebook’s Oversight Board Win People’s Trust?

Citation:

Mark Latonero. 1/29/2020. “Can Facebook’s Oversight Board Win People’s Trust?” Harvard Business Review. See full text.
Can Facebook’s Oversight Board Win People’s Trust?

Abstract:

Technology & Human Rights Fellow, Mark Latonero, breaks down the larger implications of Facebook's global Oversight Board for content moderation. 

Facebook is a step away from creating its global Oversight Board for content moderation. The bylaws for the board, released on Jan. 28, lay out the blueprint for an unprecedented experiment in corporate self-governance for the tech sector. While there’s good reason to be skeptical of whether Facebook itself can fix problems like hate speech and disinformation on the platform, we should pay closer attention to how the board proposes to make decisions.

: Mark Latonero | Jan 29 2020
: Technology & Human Rights Fellow, Mark Latonero, breaks down the larger implications of Facebook's global Oversight Board for content moderation. 
Last updated on 02/25/2020

India's Soft Power: Challenges and Opportunities

Citation:

Salil Shetty and Tara Sahgal. 12/2019. “India's Soft Power: Challenges and Opportunities.” Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies (December 2019). See full text.
India's Soft Power: Challenges and Opportunities

Abstract:

Salil Shetty's recent paper for the Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies explores the resources and potential of soft power in India. 
 

The paper breaks the concept of soft power in the Indian context into two parts: state driven and non-state driven.  Shetty analyzes these resources and interrogates whether India can use its soft power effectively in its quest to become a “great” power in today's world.

There has been a fairly dramatic transformation in the global power map in the last few years. Trump's America has changed the role of the U.S. in the world in a very fundamental way, pulling back from an active role in many parts of the world as well as in the U.N. and most multilateral platforms. China has come out of the closet in terms of more publically asserting its role as the second global superpower. This is most visible in its aggressive positioning in U.N. processes but increasingly portends a tectonic shift in geo-politics in all its dimensions. Europe has also been consumed by internal challenges triggered by the explosive growth of right wing populism which has resulted in Brexit and political turmoil in so many countries.

With the growth in its economy and pervasive presence in the world of internet technology and software, India has undoubtedly acquired a larger voice on the international stage in the last decade or so. The decisive second term victory of a Hindu majoritarian party brings new opportunities and challenges to India's soft power.

Little work has been done to understand the role of India's soft power, let alone factoring the contemporary realities. This paper is by no means aiming to fill this gap through a comprehensive scholarly study on this complex subject. It is a limited exploration to identify some key opportunities and challenges for India in today's context very much from a practical standpoint. We hope it will serve to trigger further research and action.

Read the full text here. 

: Salil Shetty | Dec 2019
: Salil Shetty explores the the resources and potential of soft power in India.
Last updated on 02/14/2020
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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