Program on Human Rights: Bridging Theory and Practice
Human Rights at Stanford
October 14, 2009
Thank you Larry. Professor Diamond and his deputy, Dr. Kathryn-Stoner Weiss, lead CDDRL with all the energy and can-do spirit that one could ever wish for in a creative workplace.
And of course, nothing would be possible without the calm competency of the CDDRL staff that I would like to recognize:
• Audrey McGowan,
• Tram Dihn,
• Alice Kada.
Let me start with first identifying the faculty members in the Human Rights Program, all of them familiar to you as teachers in the front of the classroom and as leaders in their fields of research.
We presently comprise 8 faculty members. We have a small core steering group comprised of:
• Professor Terry Karl from the Department of Political Science (and one of our panelists),
• Professor Joshua Cohen (Philosophy, Political Science, and Law; and also co-ordinator of the Global Justice Program at CDDRL),
• Professor Diamond (Hoover Institution),
• and myself (FSI and Law).
Then we have:
• Professor Debra Satz (Philosophy, and Director of the Bowen Center for Ethics, and speaking in the second panel about summer human rights internships),
• Professor Christine Min Wotepka (Department of Education, and by courtesy to the Department of Sociology;
• and Professors John Meyer and Francisco Ramirez from the Department of Sociology.
Another name and face that you will become familiar with is Michael Lopez, an ’06 graduate from Stanford Law School who is working with the HRP as the Simpson Thatcher and Bartlett Public Interest Fellow. Michael is working with me over the coming year to identify projects and activities, and also the all-important work of identifying sources of funding. It’s not an easy economic climate for fund-raising, but if anything can rattle the economic doldrums, it is the power of human rights.
Whatever your background, what every you may be studying, whatever you think you may major in, its likely that just about every subject you take at Stanford has a human rights application. Our first panel today demonstrates the many different ways that one can make a difference in the human rights of others. Our four panelists come from four disciplines -
• Professor Karl is a political scientist
• Professor Martinez is a lawyer
• Professor Ferguson is an anthropologist, and
• Professor Levitt is an engineer.
Each of them has an influence on international human rights, either by virtue of their action in the field, or because they influence what takes place in the field.
Professor Karl really needs no introduction, because Terry represents the very best of an academic who lives her work through social action. Terry is known and loved by the hundreds of students who take her course The Politics of Human Rights; by the scores of students who go on to work with her on her legal cases and her research, and by the many graduate students whose dissertations she has guided with such insight. If you don’t see Terry talking with a student, you can be sure that she is part of a team that is mounting a legal case to bring a human rights violator to justice.
Terry Karl is a Professor of Political Science, Gildred Professor of Latin American Studies and a Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford. After serving on the faculty of Harvard University, she joined Stanford’s Department of Political Science in 1987. An expert in international and comparative politics, Professor Karl has conducted field research and taught on democratization and human rights throughout Latin America, West Africa and Europe. She has published widely, with special emphasis on oil and the politics of oil-exporting countries, transitions to democracy, inequality, human rights, U.S. policy towards Latin America, and the resolution of civil wars. Her argument about oil, called The Paradox of Plenty, was designated this year by Time Magazine as “one of the ten ideas changing our world.”
Professor Karl’s experience spans a wide range of human rights work:
• chief expert witness in precedent-setting war crimes trials in the United States.
• Romagoza et al v Garcia and Vides Casanova awarded $54 million to the
plaintiffs and resulted in the first jury verdict in U.S. history against military commanders for murder and torture under the doctrine of command responsibility.
• Chavez et al v Carranza led to the first jury verdict in U.S. history finding commanders responsible for “crimes against humanity” under the doctrine of command responsibility.
• In Latin America, she has testified on behalf of indigenous people in Latin America seeking redress from environmental damage and human rights violations from multinational oil companies.
• In Spain, she is currently serving as the expert witness in a criminal trial charging 14 members of the military, including the entire High Command, with the murder of six Jesuits priests in El Salvador under the principle of universal jurisdiction.
• written over 250 affidavits for political asylum, and she has prepared testimony for the U.S. Attorney General on the extension of temporary protected status for Salvadorans in the United States .
Jim Ferguson is the Chair and Professor of the Department of Anthropology at Stanford.
• research conducted in Lesotho and Zambia
• theoretical and ethnographic issues that delve into small “p” political issues, such as the relationship between social and cultural processes.
• Professor Ferguson's most recent book, is called Global Shadows: Africa in the Neoliberal World Order, was published by Duke University Press in 2006.
• He is now beginning a new research project in South Africa, exploring questions of poverty and social policy under conditions of neoliberalism.
Professor Ferguson has long worked on issues of poverty and underdevelopment in Africa and has taught an undergraduate class called "The Anthropology of Rights." Professor Ferguson will discuss the limits of the liberal rights framework and the importance of attaching rights politics to struggles for substantive social and material equality.
Jenny Martinez is a Professor of Law and Justin M. Roach, Jr. Faculty Scholar at Stanford. Her scholarship examines the increasing number of international tribunals that operating today in a globalized environment, but without any single world government to rule them.
• she argued the 2004 case of Rumsfeld v. Padilla before the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking to clarify the constitutional protections available to post-9/11 “enemy combatants” who are U.S. citizens
• also served as a consultant for both Human Rights First and the International Center for Transitional Justice.
Before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 2003, she was a senior research fellow at Yale University and an attorney at Jenner & Block.
She clerked for Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and was an associate legal officer for Judge Patricia Wald of the ICTY, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
Professor Martinez will discuss her work on the role of international courts and tribunals in protecting and promoting human rights, including her recent scholarship on the suppression of the 19th century transatlantic slave trade via international courts.
Ray Levitt is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
• At MIT in Department of Civil Engineering before moving to Stanford in 1980.
• In 2003, he founded, and serves as Director of, Stanford's Collaboratory for Research on Global Projects.
• He is a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford.
• Ongoing research by Professor Levitt through the Collaboratory for Research on Global Projects attempts to model and simulate the significant “institutional costs” that can arise in global projects due to substantial differences in goals, values and cultural norms among project stakeholders.
• This research is supported by the National Science Foundation, CIFE, CRGP and the Center for Edge Power at the Naval Postgraduate School.
Professor Levitt’s work through the Collaboratory focuses on designing new kinds of governance arrangements for infrastructure development projects in both developed and developing countries. The way in which projects to develop or renovate civil and social infrastructure are planned, built and operated has implications for the rights of a variety of stakeholders, from impacted indigenous or local residents to the unborn. His research attempts to find innovative ways to balance the interests of all these stakeholders to deliver infrastructure that maximizes the net economic, environmental and social value of such projects over their lifetimes.