Special Initiatives

Reclaiming Stonewall: Welcome to the Celebration—and the Struggle
Douglas A. Johnson. 6/25/2019. “Reclaiming Stonewall: Welcome to the Celebration—and the Struggle.” The Nation.Abstract
A new edition of The Nation examines the meaning of Stonewall. 


Guest edited by Timothy McCarthy, the issue asks us, 'What still needs to be done?'

"Anniversaries are occasions for remembrance, even pride and celebration, but they should also be moments of reckoning, which offer us the opportunity to reflect critically on where we come from, where we are, and where we go from here. 

To help us reckon with the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, The Nation invited a remarkable group of LGBTQ activists, artists, and academics to reflect on its many legacies. Ranging in age from 23 to 88 years old, the participants in “Reclaiming Stonewall” represent the stunning diversity of our community across generations. Combining the personal and the political, this collection of living queer histories is something of an archive of our moment, when many of us are grappling with what might be called the paradox of progress: the coexistence of important changes—in courtrooms and legislatures, hearts and minds—with seemingly intractable challenges.

As we reckon with the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, let us heed all these voices and ask, “What still needs to be done?” If the legacy and inheritance of Stonewall mean anything, it’s that our fight is far from over and that our collective struggle for liberation—for everyone—must continue."

—Timothy Patrick McCarthy

Elections Under Oppression in Cambodia: A Predictable Outcome?
Sreang Heng. 9/4/2018. “Elections Under Oppression in Cambodia: A Predictable Outcome?” Yale Macmillan Center. See full text.Abstract
Read more on the Cambodian elections by by Sreang Heng, Carr Center fellow.
 
"On July 29, 2018, another parliamentary election was held in Cambodia. When the commune elections had been held on June 4, 2017, they were followed by complaints and recounts, but the official results showed that the two major rival parties had won the majority of votes: the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) received 1,156 communes (out of 1,646) while its opposition party, the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) won 489. The Khmer National United Party received only one."

Full publication.

Half a Century After Malcolm X Came to Visit: Reflections on the Thin Presence of African Thought in Global Justice Debates.
Mathias Risse. 4/17/2019. Half a Century After Malcolm X Came to Visit: Reflections on the Thin Presence of African Thought in Global Justice Debates. . Carr Center Discussion Paper Series. 2019007th ed. Cambridge: Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. See full text.Abstract
What would it mean for there to be a genuinely and legitimately global discourse on justice that involves Africa in authentic ways?

There are various responses. On the one hand, there is the idea of “philosophical fieldwork” developed by Katrin Flikschuh. African thought that fell by the wayside due to European expansionism must be recuperated and inserted into that discourse. On the other hand, there is the world society approach pioneered by John Meyer and others. The point is that ideas  from elsewhere in the world can be genuinely and legitimately appropriated, which is how ideas have always spread. Once ideas about justice are appropriated by African thinkers, they are associated with Africa as much as with any other region. My goal here is to explore both approaches and support the second, while also making room for the first. In doing so, I articulate a view about how my own ongoing work on global justice can be seen as a contribution to an actual global discourse. There are rather large (and sensitive) issues at stake here: how to think about respectful appropriation of ideas and thus respectful philosophical discourse.  A great deal of nuance is needed.

 

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The ICC’s Afghanistan Decision

April 16, 2019

A Pre-Trial Chamber at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has rejected the Prosecutor’s request, filed nearly 18 months ago, to open an investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, including of allegations that U.S. forces and the CIA committed acts of torture there.... Read more about The ICC’s Afghanistan Decision

Countermajoritarian, Representative, and Enlightened: The Roles of Constitutional Courts in Democracies
Luís Roberto Barroso. 4/4/2019. “Countermajoritarian, Representative, and Enlightened: The Roles of Constitutional Courts in Democracies.” The American Journal of Comparitive Law. See full text.Abstract
Justice Luis Roberto Barroso's latest article on Countermajoritarian, Representative, and Enlightened: The Roles of Constitutional Courts in Democracies.

The primary purpose of this article is to examine the roles of constitutional courts in contemporary democracies. It aims to demonstrate that such courts perform, in addition to the countermajoritarian role traditionally recognized in constitutional theory, two other roles: representative and, occasionally, enlightened. In the construction of the argument, the Article analyzes the phenomena of the judicialization of politics and judicial activism, as well as the issue of the difficult demarcation of the border between law and politics in the complex and plural societies of today. Although it presents several examples of the constitutional experience of the United States, the Article’s conclusions are generalizable, looking at the roles of constitutional courts from the perspective of a global constitutionalism whose categories have become common practice in the democracies of the world.

See full text. 

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court at 20: Looking Back and Looking Forward.
Carr Center Human Rights for Policy. 4/4/2019. “The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court at 20: Looking Back and Looking Forward. ”. See full text.Abstract
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court at 20: Looking Back and Looking Forward. Symposium Report.

 

Matthias Risse, Faculty Director of the Carr Center, and Kathryn Sikkink, Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, opened the conference with welcoming remarks. Risse noted that 2018 was a year of anniversaries, not only the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute but also the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and of the American Declaration of Rights and Duties of Man, an occasion both for celebration and for critical reflection. Sikkink also noted the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute was a moment to reflect and remember, looking backward to take stock with an eye toward moving justice forward in the future.

 

The War on Voting Rights
John Shattuck, Aaron Huang, and Elisabeth Thoreson-Green. 2/28/2019. The War on Voting Rights. Carr Center Discussion Paper Series. 2019003rd ed. Cambridge: Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. See full text.Abstract
Discussion Paper on The War on Voting Rights: 

The 2020 presidential election will be a showdown over the right to vote. The outcome will be determined by an electoral system under attack from both foreign and domestic sources. Russian efforts to manipulate the 2016 presidential election are being extensively investigated, but the domestic war on voting rights is less well understood.  After more than a century of expanding the voting rights of previously disenfranchised groups, the American electoral system today is confronted by political and legal maneuvers to curtail the hard-won rights of these same groups, ostensibly in the name of combating fraud and regulating voting, but in fact in order to change the outcome of elections. 

 

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