Arts + Culture

Outside the Academy: Rights as Weapons

Feb 4, 2020 - Feb 4, 2020 | 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
City of Asylum @ Alphabet City
40 W. North Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Rights as Weapons examines how governments, corporations, populist movements and other powerful forces use majority rights, property rights, and even human rights as aggressive tools against the weak. Rights are usually viewed as defensive concepts representing mankind’s highest aspirations to protect the vulnerable and uplift the downtrodden. Rights as Weapons shows how rights can be transformed into tools of politics and oppression—and what to do about it.

Featured Presenters:

Clifford Bob is professor and chair of the political science department at Duquesne University. His areas of research and teaching include human rights, globalization, and U.S. foreign policy. His latest book is Rights as Weapons: Instruments of Conflict, Tools of Power (Princeton University Press, 2019). An earlier book, The Global Right Wing and the Clash of World Politics, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012. His 2005 book, The Marketing of Rebellion: Insurgents, Media, and International Activism (Cambridge), won the International Studies Association Best Book Award and other prizes. He edited The International Struggle for New Human Rights (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009) and is the author of numerous articles and book chapters. Dr. Bob holds a Ph.D. from MIT, a J.D. from NYU, and a B.A. from Harvard. 

Ambassador Sarah E. Mendelson is Distinguished Service Professor of Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University and Head of Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz College in Washington DC. She served as the US Representative to the Economic and Social Council at the United Nations until January 20, 2017. Confirmed by the Senate in October 2015, she was the USUN lead on international development, human rights, and humanitarian affairs. There she oversaw campaigns to get country-specific resolutions passed in the General Assembly and to get NGOs, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, accredited to the UN. She led efforts to elevate the issue of combating human trafficking and was senior lead for the President’s Summit on Refugees. Prior to her appointment as Ambassador, she served as a Deputy Assistant Administrator at USAID from 2010-2014 where she was the Agency lead on democracy, human rights, and governance.

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