Faculty

Human Rights and Artificial Intelligence: An Urgently Needed Agenda?
Mathias Risse. 4/15/2018. Human Rights and Artificial Intelligence: An Urgently Needed Agenda? . Carr Center Discussion Paper Series. 2018002nd ed. Cambridge, MA: Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. See full text. Abstract
Human Rights and Artificial Intelligence: An Urgently Needed Agenda? by Mathias Risse 

 

Artificial intelligence generates challenges for human rights. Inviolability of human life is the central idea behind human rights, an underlying implicit assumption being the hierarchical superiority of humankind to other forms of life meriting less protection. These basic assumptions are questioned through the anticipated arrival of entities that are not alive in familiar ways but nonetheless are sentient and intellectually and perhaps eventually morally superior to humans. To be sure, this scenario may never come to pass and in any event lies in a part of the future beyond current grasp. But it is urgent to get this matter on the agenda. Threats posed by technology to other areas of human rights are already with us. My goal here is to survey these challenges in a way that distinguishes short-, medium-term and long-term perspectives

Human Rights: Advancing the Frontier of Emancipation
Kathryn Sikkink. 4/1/2018. “Human Rights: Advancing the Frontier of Emancipation.” Great Transition Initiative. See full text.Abstract
Human Rights: Advancing the Frontier of Emancipation essay by Kathryn Sikkink:
 

Amidst bleak prognostications about the future, the human rights movement offers a beacon of hope for securing a livable world. The movement’s universality, supranationalism, and expanding emancipatory potential serve as inspiration and guide for the larger project of global transformation. The sweeping vision embodied in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights has experienced constant renewal and steadfast legitimacy in the tumultuous postwar world. It has been a foundation for the pursuit of supranational governance and an antidote to the notion that the ends justify the means. The human rights movement, despite its imperfections, has a key role to play in the transformational change in human values crucial to building a just, flourishing future. 

The ties that bind: How armed groups use violence to socialize fighters
Dara Kay Cohen. 9/12/2017. “The ties that bind: How armed groups use violence to socialize fighters.” Journal of Peace Research, 54, 5, Pp. 701-714. See full text.Abstract
How do armed groups use violence to create social ties? What are the conditions under which such violence takes place?

 

In this article, I describe how armed groups use one type of atrocity, wartime rape, to create social bonds between fighters through a process of combatant socialization. As a form of stigmatizing, public, and sexualized violence, gang rape is an effective method to communicate norms of masculinity, virility, brutality, and loyalty between fighters. Drawing on literature about socialization processes, I derive a set of hypotheses about individual-level factors that may influence vulnerability to violent socialization, including age, previous socialization experiences, and physical security. I analyze the support for these hypotheses using newly available survey data from former fighters in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The results show the broad applicability of considering group violence as a form of social control within armed groups, suggest some of the limits of violent socialization, and have implications for both theory and policy.

 

(Re)discovering duties: individual responsibilities in the age of rights
Kathryn Sikkink and Fernando Berdion Del Valle. 2017. “(Re)discovering duties: individual responsibilities in the age of rights.” Minnesota Journal of International Law, 26, 1, Pp. 189-245. See full text.Abstract
Kathryn Sikkink and Fernando Berdion Del Valle publish new article in Minnesota Journal of International Law: "(Re)discovering Duties: Individual Responsibilities in the Age of Rights."

“There cannot be ‘innate’ rights in any other sense than that in which there are innate duties, of which, however, much less has been heard.”

Their article seeks to recover the tradition of individual duties that is integral to the historical origins of international human rights, arguing that increased attention to duties and responsibilities in international politics can be necessary complements to promoting human rights, particularly economic, social, and cultural rights.

 

 

2018 Feb 12

The Fierce Urgency of Now Speaker Series: Douglas Johnson - Trump's Human Rights Policy: Waiting for the Shoe to Drop

5:30pm to 6:45pm

Location: 

Wexner 434 AB, Harvard Kennedy School, 79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA

fierce urgencyThe Carr Center is excited to announce its 2018 Speaker Series: The Fierce Urgency of Now: Human Rights in 2018. The series will be facilitated by Professor...

Read more about The Fierce Urgency of Now Speaker Series: Douglas Johnson - Trump's Human Rights Policy: Waiting for the Shoe to Drop
Evidence for Hope: Making Human Rights Work in the 21st Century
Kathryn Sikkink. 9/8/2017. Evidence for Hope: Making Human Rights Work in the 21st Century, Pp. 336. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. See full text.Abstract

Kathryn Sikkink's new book documents the history of successes of the human rights movement, and makes a case for why human rights work.

Evidence for Hope makes the case that, yes, human rights work. Critics may counter that the movement is in serious jeopardy or even a questionable byproduct of Western imperialism. They point out that Guantánamo is still open, the Arab Spring protests have been crushed, and governments are cracking down on NGOs everywhere. But respected human rights expert Kathryn Sikkink draws on decades of research and fieldwork to provide a rigorous rebuttal to pessimistic doubts about human rights laws and institutions. She demonstrates that change comes slowly and as the result of struggle, but in the long term, human rights movements have been vastly effective.

Attacks on the human rights movement’s credibility are based on the faulty premise that human rights ideas emerged in North America and Europe and were imposed on developing southern nations. Starting in the 1940s, Latin American leaders and activists were actually early advocates for the international protection of human rights. Sikkink shows that activists and scholars disagree about the efficacy of human rights because they use different yardsticks to measure progress. Comparing the present to the past, she shows that genocide and violence against civilians have declined over time, while access to healthcare and education has increased dramatically. Cognitive and news biases contribute to pervasive cynicism, but Sikkink’s investigation into past and current trends indicates that human rights is not in its twilight. Instead, this is a period of vibrant activism that has made impressive improvements in human well-being.

Exploring the strategies that have led to real humanitarian gains since the middle of the twentieth century, Evidence for Hope looks at how these essential advances can be supported and sustained for decades to come.

Kathryn Sikkink is the Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her books include The Justice Cascade (Norton) and Activists beyond Borders. She lives in Cambridge, MA.

books

Faculty Book Publications: 2017 in Review

January 5, 2018

Faculty members at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy published a series of groundbreaking books in 2017, addressing diverse policy issues from the role of women in Rwanda's post-conflict reconciliation; the prevalence of human trafficking and modern slavery; to making human rights work in the 21st century. 

 

Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy Kathryn Sikkink, ...

Read more about Faculty Book Publications: 2017 in Review
2017 Oct 12

UN Treaty Bodies: The Work of the Committee on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights

9:00am to 10:00am

Location: 

Nye A, 5th floor, Taubman Building, (Harvard Kennedy School)

The Carr Center is delighted to host Maria Virginia Bras Gomes, Chair of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Ms. Bras Gomes will discuss the Committee's work on diverse economic, social, and cultural rights issues, and provide an insight into the work of critical UN treaty bodies addressing human rights policy.

Selected participants for the Carr Center's delegation to the UN General Assembly are required to attend this event, but all others are also welcome to attend.

*Breakfast will be served.

2017 Sep 26

The UN and Human Rights

11:45am to 1:00pm

Location: 

Rubenstein-229, Carr Center Conference Room, Harvard Kennedy School

Carr Center Fellow Leonardo Castilho will host a lunchtime seminar providing an introduction to the United Nations' engagement with human rights policy issues.

Leonardo joined the United Nations in 2005 and has since then served the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the UN Population Fund. He has worked on non-discrimination, development and economic, social and cultural rights.

Leonardo will lead the Carr Center's human rights delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in October 2017. Apply and learn more here:...

Read more about The UN and Human Rights

Pages