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

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

"I Feel Like We Are People Who Have Never Known Each Other Before": The Experiences of Survivors of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation Transitioning From Shelters to Life in the Community

"I Feel Like We Are People Who Have Never Known Each Other Before": The Experiences of Survivors of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation Transitioning From Shelters to Life in the Community

Abstract:

Journal article by Carr Fellow Laura Cordisco Tsai analyzes how survivors of sexual exploitation transition back to life in their communities.

In this article, we explore the experiences of survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Cambodia as they transition from living in trafficking-specific shelter facilities to living in the community. We analyzed data from Chab Dai's Butterfly Longitudinal Research (BLR) project, a 10-year longitudinal study with survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Cambodia utilizing a prospective panel design. We present findings from our analysis of 236 interviews and narrative summaries of interviews conducted with survivors between the years 2011 and 2016 (n=79). An interpretive phenomenological approach was used to understand survivors' experiences during this transition. Themes included: conflicted feelings about life in the community; difficulties completing school and securing employment; violence in the community; limited follow-up; unfulfilled expectations; feeling loved like a family member in the shelter, but abandoned in the community; vulnerability in the community due to dramatic differences between shelters and the community; and varied experiences with case closure. We underscore the importance of understanding and listening to the voices of survivors about their experiences in the anti-human trafficking sector and discuss implications for the design and implementation of services for survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Southeast Asia.

: Laura Cordisco-Tsai et al. | Jan 2020
: Journal article by Carr Fellow Laura Cordisco Tsai analyzes the transition of living in shelters to acclimating back to life in their communities for survivors of sexual exploitation.
Last updated on 02/25/2020

Gina Haspel Is a Torturer. What Else Does the Senate Need to Know?

Gina Haspel Is a Torturer. What Else Does the Senate Need to Know?

Abstract:

A new Op-Ed by Carr Center Senior Fellow Alberto Mora in Politico.

President Donald Trump is notoriously hostile toward the CIA. He frequently denigrates it in public and reportedly rarely even bothers to read its reports. None of Trump’s critical tweets, utterances or acts, however, carries as much venom or has the potential for causing as much harm to the agency as the president’s recent nomination of Gina Haspel to serve as the CIA’s next director. If evidence were needed of the president’s continuing grudge against the agency, this is it.

Original post, in Politico, here.

: Alberto Mora | Mar 15 2018
: A new Op-Ed by Carr Center Senior Fellow Alberto Mora in Politico.
Last updated on 01/07/2020
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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