2012-2013 Human Rights Institute Fellowship
David L. Richards, Political Science and Human Rights
David's work is focused primarily on government respect for human rights. One of his primary interests is human rights measurement, and he is Co-Director of the CIRI Human Rights Data Project (www.humanrightsdata.org), which annually rates government respect for 15 internationally-recognized human rights in 195 countries. He also has an interest in the psychology of torture, and has a forthcoming article (with Mandy Morrill and Mary Anderson) in the Nordic Journal of Human Rights that examines the psychological roots of US Citizens' attitudes towards torture techniques.
David's current projects-in-progress include two books: a human rights textbook for CQ Press, and a book (with Jillienne Haglund) on the strength and evolution of domestic legal guarantees relating to five forms of violence against women, worldwide, for Paradigm Publishers. It is the latter manuscript on which David will be working during his fellowship during the fall 2012 semester.
Sarah Winter, English
During her HRI Faculty Fellowship semester, Spring 2012, Professor Winter will be working on her book titled “The Novel, Habeas Corpus, and Human Rights”. Her project will delineate an important early phase in the recurrent conflict between the human rights of political prisoners and the sovereign prerogatives of nation states. The book uncovers a pivotal historical relationship between habeas corpus jurisprudence and the narrative representation of human rights, delineating the ways that a set of influential nineteenth-century English novels correlated the principles of universal human rights articulated in the United States Declaration of Independence (1776) and the French National Assembly’s Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen (1789) with the widespread reputation in Britain of the “Great Writ of Habeas Corpus” as “the Palladium of Liberty.” She will examine how the political prisoner came to embody the abstract bearer of human rights starting in the early decades following the French Revolution, a time when universal human equality was a rather new concept that provoked both utopian aspirations and political fears. Because political prisoners’ experiences were often not accessible to the public, imaginative literature played a key role in elevating the fates of dissidents into galvanizing political causes. “The Novel, Habeas Corpus, and Human Rights” will also refocus recent historiography on the emergence of human rights by exploring the ways that habeas corpus jurisprudence, during this formative period of political declarations of the “rights of man,” provided a working judicial procedure to extrapolate from the legal rights of subjects and citizens to universal human rights.
Samuel Martinez, Anthropology
Samuel Martínez is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Caribbean and Latin American Studies at the University of Connecticut Storrs. He is the author of two ethnographic monographs, Peripheral Migrants (1995, U Tennessee P) and Decency and Excess (2007, Paradigm Pub) and several peer-reviewed articles on the migration and labor and minority rights of Haitian nationals and people of Haitian ancestry in the Dominican Republic. A contributory volume that he edited, International Migration and Human Rights, has recently been published in simultaneous paper and free-of-charge Web editions by the University of California Press.
During his HRI Faculty Fellowship semester (Spring 2011), he is working on preliminary stages of a project examining the texts and contexts of the stories that are being told about slavery today via the narrative portions of scholarly, journalistic, activist, and creative fictional texts, photo-essays and films.
Susan Randolph, Economics
Susan Randolph is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at UConn with a joint appointment in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. She is a faculty affiliate of the Human Rights Institute, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the India Studies Program. Dr. Randolph received her Doctorate in economics with a specialization in development economics from Cornell University in 1983 and joined UConn in 1984. She has served as a short term consultant to The World Bank and the United States Agency for International Development, and is affiliated with the Connecticut Center for Eliminating Health Disparities among Latinos. Prior to coming to UConn, she worked for four years as head of the Program Development Division with Turkiye Kalkinma Vakfi, a grass roots development organization that enables poor, landless households to establish viable, self-sustaining economic enterprises. Dr. Randolph’s research has focused on a broad range of issues in development economics, including poverty, inequality, food security and economic rights, at both the country and regional levels and has been published in numerous refereed multidisciplinary as well as economic journals. One stream of her work has emphasized measurement while other streams have emphasized development policy. Her work on marginal malnutrition and food security has focused on Mexico and Senegal, while other work has focused on Malaysia, Sudan, Bangladesh, Mexico, Egypt, Nepal and Indonesia. Dr. Randolph’s ongoing research projects focus on assessing and understanding household level food insecurity in Senegal, and assessing economic and social rights fulfillment.
Monitoring the Progressive Realization of Economic and Social Rights Obligations
In response to an increasing demand for rigorous monitoring of States’ accountability in meeting their human rights obligations, a growing literature has emerged on measuring human rights fulfillment. However, the monitoring and promotion of human rights have emphasized political and civil rights; comparatively little attention has been focused on economic and social rights. Data are increasing used in human rights assessment and advocacy, but, especially with regard to economic social rights, ad hoc approaches dominate. Along with her collaborators, SakikoFukuda-Parr and Terra Lawson-Remer, Dr. Randolph has developed two alternative rigorous methodologies for monitoring State accountability in meeting economic and social rights obligations. The Human Rights fellowship will be used to write a book that fully documents the index and compares the alternative methodologies, investigates ways of integrating the principle of non-discrimination, and explores the policy implications of the index. The project ultimately seeks (a) a broad understanding of the sorts of policies and private initiatives that effectively foster the fulfillment of economic and social rights, (b) an understanding of the synergy between political, civil and economic and social rights, and (c) an understanding of the trade-offs and synergies between economic policies fostering income growth and economic efficiency versus those fostering economic and social rights provisions. To facilitate the realization of these broader goals, the fellowship will be used to apply for external grants to establish an Economic and Social Rights Accountability Program.
Alexandra D. Lahav, UConn Law School
Alexandra Lahav is an associate professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law. Prior to joining the law faculty she was a teaching fellow at Stanford Law School and litigated civil rights cases in New York City. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law School and Brown University. Her research has focused on procedural justice and access to justice in the United States. Her previous articles have approached access to justice issues through the lens of civil procedure, in particular the use of the class action and other multiparty litigation to vindicate collective and individual rights. Her published work in this area includes Bellwether Trials, 76 GEO. WASH. L. REV. __ (forthcoming 2008); Recovering the Social Value of Jurisdictional Redundancy, Symposium Issue, 82 TULANE L. REV. __ (forthcoming 2008); The Law and Large Numbers: Preserving Adjudication in Complex Litigation, 59 FLA. L. REV. 383 (2007); Fundamental Principles for Class Action Governance, 37 IND. L. REV. 65 (2003).
Prof. Lahav’s current project concerns the role of the lawyer in perpetuating and resisting procedural injustice. The particular focus of her research is the role of lawyers in hearings before military commissions in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. These military commissions constitute a type of legal black hole within an otherwise liberal democratic regime which claims to adhere to the basic principles of the rule of law. Because lawyers are officers of the court and the first defense of the rule of law, participation in this system raises serious moral questions. Is the lawyer that participates in these or other unjust hearings a seeker of justice or enabler of injustice?
During her fellowship at the Human Rights Institute, Prof. Lahav will conduct qualitative research in order to evaluate the justifications for and arguments against lawyer participation in unfair hearings. She will seek the answers to the following questions from lawyers involved in the military commission process: How do lawyers justify their participation? Are they concerned about complicity in the system? What factors should lawyers consider before choosing to participate in a system they think is unfair? Is there a principled stance that lawyers ought to take (such as that boycotts are categorically wrong because they leave potential clients without access to a lawyer)? Or should lawyer decisions to participate or refrain be contextual and pragmatic?
2007-2008 Human Rights Institute Fellow
Shareen Hertel, Political Science and Human Rights
Shareen Hertel is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut, and holds a joint appointment with the University of Connecticut Human Rights Institute. She has also served as a consultant to foundations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and United Nations agencies in the United States, Latin America and South Asia; has written professionally on the UN’s role in economic and social development; and helped develop a standard for labor rights monitoring in global manufacturing (SA8000). She is the author of Unexpected Power: Conflict and Change Among Transnational Activists (Cornell 2006) and articles in journals such as Global Governance, Human Rights Review, the Journal of Latin American Studies, and International Studies Perspectives.
During her fellowship with the HR Institute, Professor Hertel will develop a project on economic rights implementation – focusing, in particular, on public attitudes regarding ethical consumption. Are consumers willing to purchase goods and services created in a socially and environmentally responsible manner and if so, why? Is willingness to pay for “fair trade” coffee or “sweatshop free” clothing, for example, tied to popular conceptions of human rights or to related social movement activism? In November 2006, Hertel and colleagues at UConn carried out a pilot national public opinion survey (through the Center for Survey Research and Analysis) that revealed significant public awareness of the right to a minimum guaranteed standard of living as a human right – and even higher willingness to pay for ethically produced goods among that segment of the population. Nevertheless, much remains to be learned about why consumers do or do not prefer this type of products; how businesses vary in their response to such demands; and whether or not ethical consumption positively affects the implementation of economic rights or actually has negligible and/or unintended negative consequences for social welfare outcomes. Hertel plans to use her semester as an HRI Fellow to design and raise funds for a more in-depth national survey and an experimental component to advance this research agenda.
2006-2007 Human Rights Institute Fellow
Professor Diana Meyers, Department of Philosophy
Diana Tietjens Meyers (CUNY) writes on ethics, feminist philosophy, and social and political philosophy and had been at the University of Connecticut since 1987. Her most recent monographs are Subjection and Subjectivity: Psychoanalytic Feminism and Moral Philosophy and Gender in the Mirror: Cultural Imagery and Women's Agency. In 2004 Rowman and Littlefield published a collection of her (mostly) previously published articles, Being Yourself: Essays on Identity, Action and Social Life. Her most recent publications are "Decentralizing Autonomy -- Five Faces of Selfhood," in Autonomy and the Challenges to Liberalism and "Who Acts? Reflections on Identity, Selfhood, and Autonomous Action" in Hypatia. She is the author of the article "G.E.M. Anscombe" that is to appear in the Encyclopedia of Women in World History.
During her Fellowship with the Human Rights Institute, Professor Meyers worked on a project titled “Narrative and Legal Norms: Translating Victims’ Stories into Enforceable Human Rights”. She explains that project as follows:
"A number of late 20th- early 21st century political and intellectual movements put a spotlight on the value of listening to silenced voices. In consciousness raising sessions, second wave feminists exchanged stories of their everyday lives and used these stories to construct theories of gender and to formulate political agendas. Soon women of color and lesbians in western as well as developing nations objected that middleclass white feminists had silenced them and consequently misrepresented womanhood and the needs of women as a group. Critical race theorists made the case that injecting personal stories of racial oppression into U.S. legal proceedings is indispensable to the eradication of white supremacy. Recent truth commissions in South Africa and Peru and war crimes tribunals in the Hague and Rwanda have reaffirmed the right to a voice of one's own. Picking up on these trends, philosophers have addressed a number of pertinent themes: respect, empathy, and credibility. Less thoroughly explored is the relation between victims' stories and normativity. My work explores how the stories of those who have been abused or oppressed can advance moral understanding, catalyze moral innovation, and guide social change. More specifically, I focus on narrative as a variegated form of representation, analyze the diverse forms that personal narratives of victimization take, and theorize the distinctive ways in which each type of story connects with human rights discourse.
About the Fellowship:
In 2006 the Human Rights Institute announced a one semester Human Rights Institute Fellowship for tenure track faculty that would provide a two course remission over one academic semester. The objective of this competition was to support and promote faculty research projects on human rights and to facilitate the writing of external grant proposals. The Fellowship was open to all tenure track faculty in all disciplines at Storrs and regional University of Connecticut campuses.