Expanding Human Rights: 21st-Century Norms and Governance

Expanding Human Rights: 21st-Century Norms and Governance

  • Events
  • Workshop
February 26 to 272016
SB Mission rm., University Center, UCSB campus
Alison Brysk, workshop co-organizer

Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies - 2016 Joint Workshops Conference

In the 21st century, the human rights repertoire established during the post-war years is necessary but not sufficient for global governance of an expanding range of abuses.  All human rights campaigns must work to establish standards of violation, legitimate bearers of rights, responsibility to address human rights claims, and implementation mechanisms. But beyond the established human rights model, for “private wrongs” committed by non-state actors and transnational forces, rights campaigns must work to identify new rights standards, find new leverage points, and establish new responsibilities for states and global governance.  This project will analyze the 21st century expansions of the norms and mechanisms of human rights that have emerged to meet these challenges: the mobilization of new actors, claims, policies, and accountability.

In the second generation, human rights is caught between critiques that the classic corpus of rights does not attend to the most vulnerable populations and emerging forms of exploitation, and converse critiques that even conventional rights cannot be enforced or fulfilled.  In this project, we respond with affirmative evidence of new mechanisms for enforcing existing rights and new strategies for claiming rights for new populations and processes.  We will analyze how an expanded notion of human rights can lead to new possibilities for reform. We are an international and inter-disciplinary team of scholars combining established figures with fresh perspectives from the U.S., Japan, Spain, India, and Canada.  We apply frameworks from political science, law, sociology, international relations, and peace studies, and strive to inform theory with practice.