In our new CONVOCO! Podcast Corinne M. Flick speaks with Mathias Risse, Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights, Global Affairs and Philosophy as well as Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, about:
How Human Rights Unify Our World
Here’s what he said:
In a world that is as divided at the level of states as ours is now, the whole human rights network matters much more than it did before.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights just turned 75. It is one of the great accomplishments of human history … a moral blueprint for the future of humanity at the level of an organization with global ambitions like the UN.
A historical story about human rights as Western in nature is not particularly problematic because it connects nicely to ideas about good governance that other cultural contexts have simply formulated differently.
Human rights activists [form] a structure completely separate from states, making sure that states do what they are there for, namely, to advance the flourishing of individuals and not to grab power or accumulate money.
Human rights voices have been among the most level-headed voices [in the war between Israel and Hamas]. The human rights point of view is incredibly useful because it naturally guides you to see the moral complexity of the situation there and really think about the legitimate concerns of the various groups of people involved.
[Technological development] brings a mix of old problems in a new guise and genuinely new challenges. We need to think about what new kinds of human rights one would need. But I think the human rights movement is prepared for that.