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Are fundamental rights losing or gaining ground?

February 20 @ 18:0020:00

The Centre for Fundamental Rights at the Hertie School is pleased to announce its launch event “Are fundamental rights losing or gaining ground?” on 20 February 2020, 6 pm at the Hertie School.

Global trends suggest that norms and institutions of fundamental rights are losing ground. Many governments and political movements explicitly deny fundamental rights’ primacy, and some even violate them with impunity.  Some political actors and scholars question the centrality and utility of fundamental rights, claiming that they undermine other values such as security, cultural identity, economic development and social justice. Yet there remain strong voices who insist that fundamental rights  have a vital role in addressing new and enduring challenges – migration, the climate crisis and new technologies, to name a few. Such rights are embedded in the very ethos of courts, human rights institutions and many transnational social movements, and indeed in grassroots activism from below. Susanne Baer, Başak Çalı, Cathryn Costello and Patricia Sellers chaired by Arjun Appadurai will debate fundamental questions on fundamental rights – are they losing or gaining ground, or holding their own in this era of heightened contestation? Do they still provide a lingua franca for legitimate legal and political decision-making? Are current rights and accountability structures fit for the 21st century and the challenges it has brought? Please register online.


February 20
18:00 – 20:00


Susanne Baer, Başak Çalı, Cathryn Costello and Patricia Sellers chaired by Arjun Appadurai


Hertie School of Governance
Friedrichstraße 180
Berlin, 10117 Germany
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