Human Security

People-centered global policies that promote the right of all people to live in freedom and dignity, free from poverty and despair

Handle With Care: Autonomous Weapons and Why the Laws of War Are Not Enough
Linda Eggert. 9/16/2022. “Handle With Care: Autonomous Weapons and Why the Laws of War Are Not Enough.” Edited by Joshua Simmons. Technology and Democracy Discussion Paper Series. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In spring 2013, a global coalition, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, launched with a mission to advocate for a ban on “machines that determine whom to kill.” Nine years later, almost to the day at the time of writing, no such ban exists. Autonomous weapons research is alive and well, and artificial intelligence has made it to the fore of the Pentagon’s future weapons development strategy. The latest Review Conference of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), a primary forum for international talks on lethal autonomous weapon systems, failed to achieve consensus on whether new international laws are needed to address threats posed by autonomous weapons technology. Meanwhile, high-tech military powers, including China, Russia, Israel, South Korea, the US, and the UK, continue to invest heavily in the development of autonomous weapon systems.


One especially widely shared worry is that AWS may not be able to comply with the laws of armed conflict. This paper warns that, though seemingly natural and ubiquitous, appeals to international humanitarian law (IHL) should be handled with care. By interrogating compliance with IHL as a criterion for assessing the moral permissibility of deployment, this paper illuminates an altogether different dimension of the debate: what criteria we should apply to begin with, as we confront the moral and legal conundrums of the increasing autonomization of warfare.

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Carr Center 2021-2022 Annual Report
Carr Center Human Rights for Policy. 9/9/2022. Carr Center 2021-2022 Annual Report. Harvard Kennedy School. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The world is rapidly changing, and with it, the human rights landscape continues to shift. As these changes continue, so does the work of the Carr Center to bring human rights front-and-center into our everyday lives. Our 2021-2022 annual report highlights the Carr Center’s growing reach over the past year, thanks to the continued expansion of our programs and the dedication of our faculty, fellows, and students to human rights policy and research.

 

Our new research, publications, books, podcast episodes, and webinars over the course of the year—created in tandem with our faculty and fellows—have reached over 150 countries around the world, bringing the Carr Center’s mission into the homes, universities, and workplaces of thousands. To learn more about what the Carr Center accomplished during the 2021-2022 academic year, click the link below.

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Peru’s Indigenous and Rural Grassroots Civil Resistance Against the Extractive Sector
Mayumi Cornejo. 11/22/2021. “Peru’s Indigenous and Rural Grassroots Civil Resistance Against the Extractive Sector.” Topol Fellow Discussion Paper. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Peru is a resource-rich country where mining dominates the extractive industry. In fact, the mining industry — which has around 200 active mines throughout the country and 48 mining projects worth $57.7 billion in investment currently under development — accounts for 10% of Peru’s GDP and 60% of its exports. This creates an incentive for the government to protect and promote mining investment, many times at the expense of the interests of local communities. Therefore, it’s no wonder that some of the most visible social conflicts in Peru over the last two decades have been related to extractive industries.

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Grappling with the Rise of Right-Wing Populist Movements in Europe
Michelle Poulin. 11/8/2021. “Grappling with the Rise of Right-Wing Populist Movements in Europe.” Topol Fellow Discussion Paper. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Right-wing populist movements, which incorporate right-wing political theory and populist modalities, have become increasingly prominent and mainstream over the past decade, both in the Global North and Global South. European far-right populism shares many commonalities with other regional populist movements, but also has its own set of distinct methods, risks, and uncertainties. 

This discussion paper by Michelle Poulin, Carr Center Topol Fellow, will outline the unique characteristics of European far-right populist movements, the ways in which countries’ 20th century histories have influenced current day populist politics, and the online and offline organizational strategies that have helped right-wing movements influence the successes of right-wing political parties in recent years. It will also examine the rise of Germany’s far-right populist movement and the social factors that may have led to it. 

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Partners in Crime: An Empirical Evaluation of the CIA Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation Program
Averell Schmidt and Kathryn Sikkink. 11/23/2018. “Partners in Crime: An Empirical Evaluation of the CIA Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation Program.” Perspectives on Politics, 16, 4, Pp. 1014-1033. See full text.Abstract
Article on : Partners in Crime: An Empirical Evaluation of the CIA Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation Program

In the years following the attacks of 9/11, the CIA adopted a program involving the capture, extraordinary rendition, secret detention, and harsh interrogation of suspected terrorists in the war on terror. As the details of this program have become public, a heated debate has ensued, focusing narrowly on whether or not this program “worked” by disrupting terror plots and saving American lives. By embracing such a narrow view of the program’s efficacy, this debate has failed to take into account the broader consequences of the CIA program. We move beyond current debates by evaluating the impact of the CIA program on the human rights practices of other states. We show that collaboration in the CIA program is associated with a worsening in the human rights practices of authoritarian countries. This finding illustrates how states learn from and influence one another through covert security cooperation and the importance of democratic institutions in mitigating the adverse consequences of the CIA program. This finding also underscores why a broad perspective is critical when assessing the consequences of counterterrorism policies.

70th Anniversary of Human Rights Declaration

Kennedy School Hosts Discussion Honoring 70th Anniversary of Human Rights Declaration

October 11, 2018

The Kennedy School held a discussion featuring University of Virginia Professor James B. Loeffler ’96 Wednesday in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Declaration, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, articulates legal and moral principles for “fundamental human rights to be universally protected.” While legally non-binding, the document has been frequently cited as a basis for international agreements and domestic laws.

Wednesday’s discussion —...

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risselarge

Mathias Risse, Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Administration, named Faculty Director of Carr Center for Human Rights Policy

October 9, 2018

Cambridge, MA—Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) announced that Mathias Risse, the Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Administration, will serve as the Faculty Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

Risse’s work and research is focused on the intersection of philosophy and public policy. His research addresses many...

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Zoe Marks

Zoe Marks

Lecturer in Public Policy

Zoe Marks is a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Her research and teaching interests focus on the intersections of conflict and political violence; race, gender and inequality; peacebuilding; and African politics.... Read more about Zoe Marks

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2018 Sep 17
#Us Too: Children on the Move and Belated Public Attention
Jacqueline Bhahba. 4/12/2018. “#Us Too: Children on the Move and Belated Public Attention.” International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, 21, 2, Pp. 250-258. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Children on the move are having their #UsToo moment.

Over the past months, momentous developments point to a more intense engagement with the needs and rights of refugee and other migration-affected children than has previously been evident. As with #Me too, many of the most central claims – the pervasive presence of abuse, the scale of the problem, the striking power imbalances that have perpetuated the problem’s relative invisibility – are not new or surprising per se. It is the avalanche of evidence, the mobilization of affected constituencies, and the sobering realization of the extent and consequences of previous denial that are disquieting.

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