Research Program on Economic & Social Rights

The Research Program on Economic and Social Rights brings more than a dozen UConn faculty together with over 30 affiliated scholars from across the United States and Canada. Together, we have generated numerous graduate and undergraduate courses, several edited volumes, multiple co-authored articles, and the National Science Foundation-funded Socio-Economic Rights Fulfillment Index (SERF Index).

A worker picks crops at Sienna Farm.

Economic & Social Rights Group (ESRG)

The centerpiece of our program is the ESRG, an interdisciplinary monthly gathering of faculty and graduate students who meet to share ongoing research and to discuss current scholarship around economic and social rights. In addition to monthly meetings, we produce the Economic Rights Working Paper Series, hold an annual thematically-oriented, one-day workshop with our affiliated members, and host an annual public lecture by a leading figure in the field. Past speakers include Philip Alston and Immanuel Wallerstein.

Economic Rights Working Paper Series

The purpose of the series is to foster and promote research in the re-emerging area of economic rights. The series aims to be the clearinghouse for research in economic rights. It will be continuously updated. Typically, working papers in the series represent work in progress on any topic of economic rights and from any field. Published articles may also be included as a convenient way for scholars to access up-to-date research in their area of interest. In all cases the copyrights for the papers included in the series remain with the author or, if previously published, with the author and/or publisher. Those interested in submitting papers to the series should contact Derek Johnson at


Access the Working Paper Series

Our Events

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Join the Listserv

If you are interested in receiving email announcements for our events, visit the ESRG listserv page to enroll. If this is the first time you have signed up for a UConn listserv, please select “Get Password” on the right side of the page and follow the steps to register your password. You can return to the same site in the future to change your email address or unsubscribe. Members of the list include graduate students, staff members, faculty members, and visitors to the Human Rights Institute. The list is moderated by a faculty member in the program. To send e-mails to the listserv, simply send your email to To prevent SPAM, the system will ask you to confirm that you have submitted your email.

Past Events

Our program hosts discussions, seminars, workshops, and more. Select from the dates below for a review of our activities.


September 17, 2020

“The UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants, National Policies, and Forestland Rights of India’s Adivasis”

Prakash Kashwan (Political Science, University of Connecticut) 

January 29, 2021

“Disability & Social Rights”

Michael Ashley Stein (Harvard Law) 

Closed caption video stream available at: . Please click the closed captioning button (CC) at the bottom, right side of the screen, and you will see the recording and the captions for the event.

February 19, 2021

“Residential Segregation in an Urbanizing India”

Naveen Bharathi (University of Pennsylvania), Deepak Malghanb (Indian Institute of Management Bangalore), Andaleeb Rahman (Cornell University) 

April 22, 2021

“The Earthday Roundtable on Food Security and Food Sovereignty”

Roundtable co-sponsored by the Research Program on Economic & Social Rights and the Human Rights Institute. This is a UConn Reads Event.

Annette Desmarais (Canada Research Chair in Human Rights, Social Justice and Food Sovereignty at University of Manitoba)

Michael Fakhri (UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food)

Maywa Montenegro (Environmental Studies Department, University of California, Santa Cruz)


October 11, 2019

“Climate and Environmental Justice: The Challenges, The Solutions”

Annual Keynote Address, Catherine Flowers (Founder, Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise Community Development Corporation; Senior Fellow, Center for Earth Ethics, New York)

October 12, 2019

"Environmental & Climate Justice: The Existential Challenge of Economic Rights"

Annual ESRG Workshop, Panels and discussion

January 28, 2020

“The Art of Negotiation: The State, Society, and Development of Land Property Rights in Distorted Markets”

Meina Cai (UConn Department of Political Science)

Co-Sponsored jointly by Political Economy Workshop

February 18, 2020

"Wheels of Change: Transforming Girl’s Lives with Bicycles"

Nishith Prakash (UConn Department of Economics; Human Rights Institute)

April 23, 2020

"Development, Human Rights, and the Universal Periodic Review in South Asia"

Joel Oestreich (Drexel University)


October 26-27, 2018

"Popular Mobilization for Economic Rights: Exploring Grassroots and Community-based Experiences, Strategies and Outcomes"

Annual ESRG Workshop

November 1, 2018

Critiques and Counter-critiques of Human Rights

Book group discussion of Samuel Moyn’s Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World

Co-Sponsored with the HRI Human Rights Practice Cluster

January 25, 2019

"The HR Measurement Initiative (HRMI): An overview and progress update”

Susan Randolph (Emerita Professor, UConn Department of Economics,; Co-Director, ESRG)


February 18, 2019

“Accessibility to Jobs: A (Human) Right for Everyone?: Exploring the role of worker income and workplace characteristics on the journey to work"

Davis Chacon-Hurtado (Postdoctoral Fellow, Engineering & Human Rights, University of Connecticut)

March 1, 2019

"Automation Anxiety and the Right to Work”

Zehra Arat (Political Science, University of Connecticut) and Dabney Waring (Graduate student, Political Science, University of Connecticut)

March 25, 2019

"A lawyer’s perspective on Economic Rights and Remedy”

Sara Hossain (Bangladesh Legal Aid and Service Trust)


October 3, 2017

"The Audacity of Choice: the limitations of reproductive rights in West Africa”

Takiyah Harper-Shipman (Carnegie Mellon University)

October 5-6, 2017

ESRG Workshop, to coincide with conference "Protecting Human Rights at the End of the Line: Stakeholder Engagement in Light Manufacturing"

November 7, 2017

"Business and Human Rights as an Epistemic Community: Paths Taken, Paths Forsaken"

Stephen Park (School of Business, University of Connecticut)

December 7, 2017

"The Economic Implications of American Slavery's Jurisprudence"

Derek Johnson (Economics, University of Connecticut)

February 8, 2018

"The Built Environment: State Presence at Border Crossings in the Modern World"

Beth Simmons (Political Science, University of Pennsylvania)

April 19, 2018

Human Rights Education and Police Violence in India

Rachel Wahl (University of Virginia & ESRG Affiliate)

April 20, 2021

Metanoia on the Environment event on “Climate Justice: Conversations Across Barriers and Borders”



September 29, 2016

“Social Rights and Participatory Health Policymaking: The Negotiating of Citizenship” by American Indian Tribal Nations in the U.S.

Lauren MacLean (Indiana University)

October 21, 2016

"You Can't Sit With Us: International Law, Human Rights, and Homelessness"

Alyssa Webb (Doctoral candidate, Political Science, University of Connecticut)

November 4, 2016

"Designing and Drafting Legislation to Secure Economic & Social Rights: The Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment & Training Act (HR 1000)"

Phil Harvey (Rutgers Law)

December 5, 2016

“Big Data, Big Business, Big Problems: An International Human Rights Perspective on Legal and Ethical Standards”

David Nersessian (Babson College)

February 8, 2017

“Daughters & Dowry: Marriage Payments & Consumption Spending”

Nishith Prakash (Department of Economics and Human Rights, University of Connecticut) and Sungoh Kwon (Department of Economics, University of Connecticut) and S. Anukriti (Boston College)

March 21, 2017

“Rights and Queues: On Distributive Contests in the Modern State”

Katie Young (Boston College Law School)

April 25, 2017

“Health Consequences of Schooling for Disadvantaged Women in Zimbabwe”

Jorge Aguero (Department of Economics, University of Connecticut)



September 9, 2015

“Institutional Investment for Human Rights Impact” 

Keynote address for “The University as Corporate Citizen: How to Promote Human Rights and Sustainability in Collegiate Licensing, Procurement, and Investment” Conference.

Conference co-sponsored by the President’s Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility; The Thomas J. Dodd Center; the Human Rights Institute Economic & Social Rights Program/ESRG

September 28, 2015

“Policy Reforms and Challenges Related to Human Trafficking in Bihar: Role of Police”

Rajyabardhan Sharma (former Indian Police Service)

Co-sponsored by India Studies; Human Rights Institute Economic & Social Rights Program/ESRG; Unfree Labor in the Americas Study Group

October 23, 2015

Challenges to Freedom of Expression in a Digital Age

David Kaye (UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression)

Keynote for a Conference on “Human Rights and New Technologies Conference”

November 18, 2015

Discussion led by Susan Randolph of her new book (co-authored with Sakiko Fukuda-Parr and Terra Lawson-Remer) Fulfilling Economic & Social Rights (Oxford University Press 2015)

December 10, 2015

“Poor Democracies in a Conundrum: International Trade and Government Revenues in Developing Countries” 

Nita Rudra (Government, Georgetown University)

January 28, 2016

"A Blueprint for Ending Poverty…. Permanently”

David Grusky (Director, Center on Poverty and Inequality, Stanford University)

February 4, 2016

"Extra-Territorial Obligations" (ETOs) for Economic, Social & Cultural Rights: An update on the international forum and state of debate"

Ute Reisinger (Fulbright Scholar, Austria; Candidate for MA in International Affairs, UConn)

March 7, 2016

“Economic and Social Rights Fulfillment in the United States: A Spatial Perspective”

Patrick Heidkamp (Southern Connecticut State University)

April 8-9, 2016 

2016 Annual Economic and Social Rights Lecture Keynote 

Professor James Anaya


September 11, 2014 

"The Right to Read"

Lea Shaver (Law, Indiana University)

October 7, 2014

"Do Criminal Representatives Hinder or Improve Constituency Outcomes? Evidence from India"

Nishith Prakash (Economics and Human Rights, University of Connecticut)

November 3, 2014

"Local Funds and Political Competition: Evidence from the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in India"

Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay (Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi)

November 2013

"Monitoring the right to adequate food in Brazil: an analysis from human rights indicators and their application to public policies"

Ana Luiza Gama (Estácio de Sá University/UNESA, Brazil)

December 2, 2014

“Human Rights & Economic Justice: Re-Reading the Quran & the International Bill of Rights"

Zehra Arat (Political Science, University of Connecticut)

January 21, 2015

"State Capacity and Human Rights: Examining the tools of repression."

Benjamin Carbonetti (Political Science, University of Connecticut)

February 23, 2015

"From Apple to Nike: Making Globalization Work for All"

Richard Locke (Professor, Brown University)

February 20, 2015

“Human Rights Monitoring: Progressive Realization versus the Violations Approach"

Sakiko Fukuda-Parr (The New School)

February 27, 2015

Discussion of Capital in the 21st Century, by Thomas Piketty

Jane Gordon (Political Science, University of Connecticut)

March 11, 2015

"Human Rights Requirements for Achieving Universal Health Coverage"

Audrey Chapman (UConn Health Center)

April 3, 2015

"Prospects and Challenges of Ensuring the Right to Food in Ethiopia"

Semahagn Gashu Abebe (Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut)

April 17-18, 2015

"Global Justice & Extra-Territorial Obligations"

Spring ESRG 2015 Workshop



*No Records



September 11, 2012

“The Right To Development Revisited”

Shareen Hertel (Political Science and Human Rights, University of Connecticut)

October 16, 2012

“Petro-Justice, Alien Claims, And The Limits Of Human Rights Discourse”

Heather Turcotte (Political Science and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of Connecticut)

November 13, 2012

“Health And Human Rights After Genocide: A Cambodian Example”

Megan Berthold (School of Social Work, University of Connecticut)

December 4, 2012

“Hungry For Justice: Social Mobilization On The Right To Food In India”

Shareen Hertel (Political Science and Human Rights, University of Connecticut)

February 5, 2013

“Radical Reforms: What Do They Miss?”

Prakash Kashwan (Department of Political Science, University of Connecticut)

February 25, 2013

“Rights Based Fisheries Governance: From Fishing Rights To Human Rights”

Robert Pomeroy (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Connecticut)

March 5, 2013

“Health And Human Rights After Genocide: A Cambodian Example”

Megan Berthold (School of Social Work, University of Connecticut)

April 4-5, 2013

“Health And Human Rights: Social Mobilization, Law & Policy”


April 5, 2013

Forging Economic And Social Rights: Why Institutions Matter

Philip G. Alston (NYU Law School)

April 30, 2013

“Food Security In Central Asia: Realities And Challenges”

Fakhmiddin Fazilov (Trinity College)


September 30, 2011

“Roundtable on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)”

David Richards (Political Science/Human Rights, University of Connecticut)

October 14, 2011

“The Politics of Transition to Rights-Based Approaches to Conservation in India”

Prakash Kashwan (Political Science, University of Connecticut)

November 18, 2011

“Who Pays for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights?”

Michael Goodhart (Political Science, University of Pittsburgh)

December 7, 2011

“Roundtable on Gendered Dimensions of Economic and Social Rights”

Zehra Kabasakal Arat, Visiting Gladstein Professor (Juanita and Joseph Leff Distinguished Professor, Political Science and Women’s Studies, SUNY Purchase)

February 3, 2012

“Worker Rights In Law & Practice: New Data & Applications”

Chad Clay (International Affairs, University of Georgia)

Colin Barry (Political Science, Binghamton University)

February 29, 2012

“Environmental Rights And The Atmospheric Trust Litigation”

Kelly Matheson (Program Manager for the Americas, WITNESS)

March 30, 2012

“The Commitment To Public Services In India”

Vivek Srinivasan (Manager, Program on Liberation Technology, Stanford University)

April 13, 2012

“Keynote Lecture For ESRG Workshop”

April 14, 2012

“Corporate Social Responsibility And Human Rights”

ESRG Workshop


September 24, 2010

“On the Institutional Dilemmas of Human Rights Enforcement”

Derek Johnson (Economics, University of Connecticut)

October 8, 2010

“On the Right to Clean Water: On the Resolution Recently Passed by the UN General Assembly”

Chris Jeffords (Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Connecticut) and Corinne Tagliarina (Political Science, University of Connecticut) 

October 29, 2010

“Macroeconomic Policy and Human Rights: A Case Study of the US and Mexico”

Radhika Balakrishnan (Rutgers, Women’s and Gender Studies) and Diane Elson (Sociology, Essex)

November 19, 2010 

“Economics and Human Rights: The Non-Conversation”

Sanjay Reddy (Economics, New School for Social Research)

February 4, 2011

“Human Rights Protections for Vulnerable and Disadvantaged Groups: The Contributions of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights”

Audrey Chapman (UCONN Health Center) and Ben Carbonetti (Political Science, University of Connecticut) 

February 25, 2011 

“Environmental Justice and ESC Rights: Derived Protections from the European Court of Human Rights”

Steve Kutcha (Economics, University of Connecticut) 

March 25, 2011

“HIV Prevention Efforts, Human Rights, and Other Structural Dimensions: Factors related to the Success of Interventions around the Globe.”

Blair Johnson (Psychology, University of Connecticut) 

April 9, 2011

“The State Of Economic and Social Rights”

ESRG Annual Workshop 

April 29, 2011

"Spatial Considerations of Economic Rights Measurement"

Patrick Heidkamp and Colin Ryan (Geography, Southern Connecticut State University) 


Contact the directors for information on the research group activities from 2005-2010.

Our People


shareen hertel

Shareen Hertel

Co-Director, Research Program on Economic & Social Rights
Professor, Political Science & Human Rights

Prakash Kashwan

Prakash Kashwan

Co-Director, Research Program on Economic & Social Rights
Associate Professor, Political Science

Affiliate Members

Meet Our Affiliates

Catherine Albisa
National Economic and Social Rights Initiative
Constitutional and Human Rights Law

Radhika Balakrishnan
Rutgers University
Gender; Development; Budgetary Analysis

Kristy A. Belton
International Studies Association
Economic Rights

Salil Benegal
DePauw University
Environmental Rights; Inequality

Catherine Buerger
Dangerous Speech Project
Human Rights Education; Activism

Benjamin Carbonetti
Trinity College
State Capacity; Repression

Christina Chiarelli-Helminiak
West Chester University
Burnout; Human Rights Education

Chad Clay
University of Georgia
Labor Rights; Human Rights Measurement

Allison Corkery
Center for Economic & Social Rights
Economic and Social Rights; Methodology

Diane F. Frey
San Francisco State University
International Labor Standards; Right to Decent Work; Union Rights

Sakiko Fukuda-Parr
The New School
Human Rights Measurement; Global Financing

Michael Goodhart
University of Pittsburgh
Democracy; Globalization

Mark Gibney
University of North Carolina- Asheville
Extraterritorial Obligations

Philip Harvey
Rutgers University
Right to Employment; Labor Rights

Patrick Heidkamp
Southern Connecticut State University
Economic Geography; Globalization

Richard Hiskes
Grand Valley State University
Economic Rights; Environmental Rights

Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann
Wilfrid Laurier University
Right to Food; Economic Rights

Chris Jeffords
Villanova University
Environmental Human Rights; Environmental Economics

Elizabeth Kaletski
Ithaca College
Economic Development; Labor Rights; Child Labor

Konstantinos (Kostas) Koutsioumpas
University of Massachusetts Boston
Right to Sport; Physical Activity and Play

Gillian MacNaughton
Social and Economic Rights Associates
Right to Health; Right to Decent Work

Brendan Mark
University of Rhode Island
Political Economy; Collective Dissent

Leslie Marshall
University of Pittsburgh Center for Sustainable Business
Corporate Social Responsibility

Ken Neubeck
UConn Emeritus
Economic Rights; Welfare Policies

Christopher Raymond
Cornell University
Labor Rights; Freedom of Association

Sanjay Reddy
The New School
Political Economy; Development

Ana María Sánchez Rodríguez
Maynooth University
Discrimination; International Development

Lea Shaver
Indiana University McKinney School of Law
Right to Science and Culture

Shawna Sweeney
Women’s Economic Rights; Measurement

Corinne Tagliarina
Utica College
Right to Water, Laws and Policy

Rachel Wahl
University of Virginia Curry School of Education
Human Rights Education

Daniel J. Whelan
Hendrix College
History of Human Rights

Inga Winkler
Central European University, Department of Legal Studies
Global Justice; Right to Sanitation

Katharine G. Young
Boston College
Comparative Constitutional Law; Judicial Review

Christian Zimmermann
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Redistribution; Unemployment


Imge Akaslan

Imge Akaslan

Graduate Assistant

Oksan Bayulgen

Director of Undergraduate Studies, Political Science
Associate Professor, Political Science

robert bird

Robert Bird

Professor, Business Law
Eversource Energy Chair in Business Ethics
Research Fellow, School of Law

Davis Chacon Hurtado

Assistant Research Professor, Human Rights Institute

Audrey Chapman

Professor, Public Health Sciences

Lynn Healy

Lynne Healey

Emeritus Professor, Social Work

shareen hertel

Shareen Hertel

Co-Director, Research Program on Economic & Social Rights
Professor, Political Science & Human Rights

Blair Johnson

Blair Johnson

Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, Psychology

Derek Johnson

Senior Lecturer in Residence, Economics

Prakash Kashwan

Prakash Kashwan

Co-Director, Research Program on Economic & Social Rights
Associate Professor, Political Science

molly land

Molly Land

Graduate Certificate Coordinator, School of Law
Catherine Roraback Professor of Law
Professor, Human Rights

kathy libal

Kathryn Libal

Director, Human Rights Institute
Associate Professor, Social Work & Human Rights

Erica MacDonald

Graduate Assistant

Alanson Minkler

Emeritus Professor, Economics

Stephen Park

Director, Business and Human Rights Initiative
Associate Professor, Business Law

nishith prakash

Nishith Prakash

Associate Professor, Economics & Human Rights

Susan Randolph

Susan Randolph

Emerita Professor, Economics

Michael Rubin

Director, Human Rights Research and Data Hub
Assistant Research Professor, Human Rights, Engineering & Business

Lyle Scruggs

Professor, Political Science

alysssa web

Alyssa Webb

Educational Program Coordinator, Human Rights Institute