Evening Talk by Kathryn Sikkink, 2019 Mark Zacher Distinguished Visitor

Thursday, March 21, 2019
6:00-8:00 pm
Jack Poole Hall (2nd Floor)
A reception with appetizers and drinks will follow the talk. Please RSVP here.

Harvard’s Kathryn Sikkink is the 2019 Mark Zacher Distinguished Visitor.

Title: Is there Evidence for Hope?  Making Human Rights Work in the 21st Century

In this talk, Sikkink will draw on material from her recently published book Evidence for Hope.  There has been a surge of pessimism about the legitimacy and effectiveness of human rights law, institutions, and movements.  Sikkink argues that transformations in the world generated by human rights ideas and activism have paradoxically clouded our ability to evaluate and measure progress because we now know more and care more about human rights issues than even before. To engage in a more productive debate, the nature of the critique, definitions of terms, and methods being used to measure progress all need to be clarified.   Examining these issues, Sikkink argues that careful issue-by-issue examination of the evidence on human rights progress and decline offers a more complex and hopeful picture than that suggested by the pessimists.