Human Rights at a Crossroads

The nature and scope of pressing human rights challenges should cause us to reevaluate whether our rights approaches to defending freedom should be revisited.  

This moment calls into question the theories of change and working methods of international human rights. While the ultimate goal of the human rights movement to secure just societies is unassailable, is it equipped to do so? In this partnership with Berkeley Law’s Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law, several human rights scholars and practitioners explore this question and think critically and imaginatively about the future of the human rights movement. 

Contributors to this series draw on their experiences as actors and observers of the human rights project to offer insights on a variety of ways that shifts within the geopolitical, institutional, and normative landscape challenge the movement. They consider how to frame the challenges we face—to what extent are these challenges of a different nature than in the past? Writers address human rights strategies and reconsider their theoretical foundations prompting questions about the utility of a rights-based approach that has been a mainstay of the movement. As authors pull back the frame, they share their thinking about where the movement should be headed and the extent to which we should preserve our traditions and the extent to which we need to innovate to meet the present moment.