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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Legitimate Leadership?

February 21, 2020

Arthur Applbaum explains in his recently published book, Legitimacy: The Right to Rule in a Wanton World, Americans tend to discuss legitimacy in procedural terms: if a government comes to power through certain correct steps, such as free elections, it must be legitimate.

... Read more about Legitimate Leadership?

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Latest Publications

Coronavirus Presents Bonanza for Kleptocrats

Citation:

Mark Wolf and Richard J. Goldstone. 4/4/2020. “Coronavirus Presents Bonanza for Kleptocrats.” The Boston Globe. See full text.
Coronavirus Presents Bonanza for Kleptocrats

Abstract:

In order to keep kleptocrats accountable, an International Anti-Corruption Court must be established. 

Very little is certain about the coronavirus, and we are only judges, not prophets. However, we can confidently predict that the response to the pandemic will be a bonanza for kleptocrats — an opportunity for the corrupt leaders of many countries to further enrich themselves.

Governments are poised to provide trillions of dollars to counter the pandemic, without even the usual, often ineffective, safeguards to assure that the funds are properly spent. The coronavirus will, therefore, provide additional compelling proof that the world needs an International Anti-Corruption Court to punish and deter kleptocrats who enjoy impunity in the countries they rule.

 

: Mark Wolf et al. | Apr 4 2020
: In order to keep kleptocrats accountable, an International Anti-Corruption Court must be established. 
Last updated on 04/15/2020

The Ethics of Surveillance Technology during a Global Pandemic

Citation:

Vivek Krishnamurthy, Bruce Schneier, and Mathias Risse. 4/2/2020. “The Ethics of Surveillance Technology during a Global Pandemic.” Carr Center Covid-19 Discussion Paper Series, 2. See full text.
The Ethics of Surveillance Technology during a Global Pandemic

Abstract:

Three experts on cyberlaw, security, and AI discuss how governments and businesses might ethically employ surveillance and AI technologies to address Covid-19.

We interviewed Bruce Schneier, Security Technologist and Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Carr Center Fellow Vivek Krishnamurthy, and Carr Center Faculty Director Mathias Risse on the ethics and responsibilities of using AI and surveillance technology amidst a global pandemic. 

Read their full discussion, here

 
 
: Carr Center | Apr 4 2020
: Three experts discuss how to ethically employ surveillance and AI technologies to address Covid-19.
Last updated on 04/13/2020

“May You Rise to It”: A Love Letter to Students in an Unprecedented Time

“May You Rise to It”: A Love Letter to Students in an Unprecedented Time

Abstract:

In a letter to his students, Timothy McCarthy calls for a serious commitment to compassion.

My dear students,
Let me say this first: I love you — and I hope all of you are somewhere safe right now.
I know this doesn’t find any of us well. This global pandemic has profoundly upended our lives and livelihoods and routines and responsibilities, to say nothing of our capacity to work and dream together to build a better world. The corona crisis has catapulted us into complete chaos, accompanied by a disorienting mix of emotions: fear and despair, anxiety and anger, uncertainty and longing, concern and compassion. If you are like me, you’re experiencing all these things at once on any given day. As one friend put it: “I didn’t realize I could have so many mood swings before my first cup of coffee.” As a historian, I rarely use the word unprecedented — after all, almost everything has some kind of precedent — but I dusted it off last week and have been using it more and more with each passing day. History will have time to take full account of this moment, but first we must survive it.

: Timothy McCarthy | Mar 30 2020
: In a letter to his students, Timothy McCarthy calls for a serious commitment to compassion.
Last updated on 04/13/2020
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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