Articles

Can Facebook’s Oversight Board Win People’s Trust?
Mark Latonero. 1/29/2020. “Can Facebook’s Oversight Board Win People’s Trust?” Harvard Business Review. See full text.Abstract

Technology & Human Rights Fellow, Mark Latonero, breaks down the larger implications of Facebook's global Oversight Board for content moderation. 

Facebook is a step away from creating its global Oversight Board for content moderation. The bylaws for the board, released on Jan. 28, lay out the blueprint for an unprecedented experiment in corporate self-governance for the tech sector. While there’s good reason to be skeptical of whether Facebook itself can fix problems like hate speech and disinformation on the platform, we should pay closer attention to how the board proposes to make decisions.

India's Soft Power: Challenges and Opportunities
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.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. 

"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
Laura Cordisco Tsai, Vanntheary Lim, and Channtha Nhanh. 1/2020. “"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.” Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 21, 1. See full text.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.

Gina Haspel Is a Torturer. What Else Does the Senate Need to Know?
Alberto Mora. 3/15/2018. “Gina Haspel Is a Torturer. What Else Does the Senate Need to Know?” Politico . Publisher's VersionAbstract
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.

Human Rights Aren’t Just from the Global North – so Why Aren’t We Talking About It?
Kathryn Sikkink. 3/14/2018. “Human Rights Aren’t Just from the Global North – so Why Aren’t We Talking About It?” EachOther.Abstract
Kathryn Sikkink looks at the outstanding contributions of human rights activists from Chile to China.

When we discuss the origins of human rights, we tend to focus on contributors from the Global North like Eleanor Roosevelt and René Cassin. But are we getting the full picture? Kathryn Sikkink, author of Evidence for Hope: Making Human Rights Work in the 21st Century, says no. She argues that human rights owe their existence to a global effort, with important contributors from the Global South.   

RightsInfo went to her talk, organised by the Centre on Conflict, Rights and Justice and the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, to find out more.

When we discuss the origins of human rights, we tend to focus on contributors from the Global North like Eleanor Roosevelt and René Cassin. But are we getting the full picture? Kathryn Sikkink, author of Evidence for Hope: Making Human Rights Work in the 21st Century, says no. She argues that human rights owe their existence to a global effort, with important contributors from the Global South.  

Original Article on Rights Info.

Wake Up, Hapless Technology Users
Kathryn Sikkink. 3/21/2018. “Wake Up, Hapless Technology Users.” The Boston Globe. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Read this Op-Ed in the Boston Globe by Professor Kathryn Sikkink.

"Wake up, users of technology! You are not just a hapless victim, but you too have obligations — along with, of course, the multiple obligations of governments and corporations. We all should know by now that our smartphones are little spy machines that we carry around in our pockets and our Facebook pages are open invitations for violations of privacy. They are usually benevolent spy machines, and certainly, indispensable ones, but spy machines nonetheless."
 

Read the full Op-Ed here.

From Unalienable Rights to Membership Rights in the World Society
Mathias Risse. 12/11/2019. “From Unalienable Rights to Membership Rights in the World Society.” Carr Center Discussion Paper Series (2019-009). See full text.Abstract

The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy launched an ambitious initiative in the fall of 2019 to advance the renewal of rights and responsibilities in the United States. The initiative aims to develop research and policy recommendations around six broad themes of concern: democratic process; due process of law; equal protection; freedom of speech, religion, and association; human sustainability; and privacy.

In the most recent Carr Center Discussion Paper, Mathias Risse looks at the Pompeo Commission as a jumping off point to reexamine the distinction between natural law, natural rights, and human rights in the modern day.

Download the full paper

The Science of contemporary Street Protest: New efforts in the United States
Erica Chenoweth. 10/23/2019. “The Science of contemporary Street Protest: New efforts in the United States.” Science Advances 5 (10). See full text.Abstract

Since the inauguration of Donald Trump, there has been substantial and ongoing protest against the Administration. Street demonstrations are some of the most visible forms of opposition to the Administration and its policies. This article reviews the two most central methods for studying street protest on a large scale: building comprehensive event databases and conducting field surveys of participants at demonstrations. After discussing the broader development of these methods, this article provides a detailed assessment of recent and ongoing projects studying the current wave of contention. Recommendations are offered to meet major challenges, including making data publicly available in near real time, increasing the validity and reliability of event data, expanding the scope of crowd surveys, and integrating ongoing projects in a meaningful way by building new research infrastructure.

Renewing Rights and Responsibilities in the U.S.
Ralph Ranalli. 9/30/2019. “Renewing Rights and Responsibilities in the U.S.” Harvard Kennedy School. See full text.Abstract

Americans live in a country founded on the concept of individual rights, but human rights experts say more work still needs to be done teaching people what rights actually are, where they come from, and how their neighbors’ rights intertwine with their own.

A major new initiative from the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy will seek to bridge that gap, particularly in the area of how individual rights are inextricably linked to societal responsibility. The two-year research initiative is titled “Renewing Rights and Responsibilities in the US.”

Read the full article here

Renewing Rights and Responsibilities in the U.S.
Ralph Ranalli. 9/30/2019. “Renewing Rights and Responsibilities in the U.S.” Harvard Kennedy School .Abstract
See the HKS article on the new Carr Center Rights and Responsibilities Initiative.

Americans live in a country founded on the concept of individual rights, but human rights experts say more work still needs to be done teaching people what rights actually are, where they come from, and how their neighbors’ rights intertwine with their own.

A major new initiative from the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy will seek to bridge that gap, particularly in the area of how individual rights are inextricably linked to societal responsibility. The two-year research initiative is titled “Renewing Rights and Responsibilities in the US.”

“We want to get people to think about human rights and to remind them of their relevance,” said Mathias Risse, the Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Administration and faculty director of the Carr Center. “We want to remind people of the content of the American Declaration of Independence and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to remind people of the significance of looking after every single person. That’s really the purpose of this initiative.”

See full article here. 

 

 

Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Talks Ethics and Technology at Kennedy School
Michelle G. Kurilla. 9/10/2019. “Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Talks Ethics and Technology at Kennedy School.” The Harvard Crimson. See full text.Abstract
Luís Roberto Barroso, current justice of the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil and senior fellow of the Harvard Kennedy School, warned that advances in technology will pose new dangers to Brazilian and American democratic institutions in a speech at the school Monday evening.
 

He said the development of artificial intelligence — which he called the “fourth industrial revolution” — will prompt urgent questions about the proper limits of freedom of expression on the internet, including ways to combat hate speech and fake news.

Read the full article here

The Physics of Dissent and the Effects of Movement Momentum
Erica Chenoweth and Margherita Belgioioso. 8/5/2019. “The Physics of Dissent and the Effects of Movement Momentum.” Nature Human Behaviour. See full text.Abstract
How do ‘people power’ movements succeed when modest proportions of the population participate?

Here we propose that the effects of social movements increase as they gain momentum. We approximate a simple law drawn from physics: momentum equals mass times velocity (p = mv). We propose that the momentum of dissent is a product of participation (mass) and the number of protest events in a week (velocity). We test this simple physical proposition against panel data on the potential effects of movement momentum on irregular leader exit in African countries between 1990 and 2014, using a variety of estimation techniques. Our findings show that social movements potentially compensate for relatively modest popular support by concentrating their activities in time, thus increasing their disruptive capacity. Notably, these findings also provide a straightforward way for dissidents to easily quantify their coercive potential by assessing their participation rates and increased concentration of their activities over time.

Read the full article here

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