Human Rights Studies is a multidisciplinary research environment where we study human rights in all their complexity, from historical, philosophical, ethical, political, and legal perspectives. We are particularly interested in human rights in society, their role in democratic and non-democratic political systems, and what it means for institutions to respect and promote human rights. Our latest joint publication bears this out; it is called Mänskliga rättigheter i samhället (Human Rights in Society) and you can read more about it here (in Swedish)
In a changing society agents that are crucial from a human rights point of view are not only the state, formal institutions, or trans- and international organizations. At least as interesting and important for our studies are non-governmental organizations and activist groups. At the heart of it all there are conceptual questions and matters of principle, such as how human rights can or should be conceptualized, how human rights relate to other political values and instruments, and how they figure in value conflicts. What is a human right? What is a human rights violation? What happens when rights collide? What is the responsibility for human rights fulfilment and how is it distributed?
The historiography of human rights is a dynamic field of research, in which we take a keen interest. There are ideological as well as conceptual struggles over this historiography. In this context, we study how the understandings and language of human rights (and rights in general), and the purpose for which they have been invoked, have changed over time, and how that matters for our understanding and use of them today.
We collaborate with other human rights researchers in Lund through the Lund Human Rights Research Hub
Read more about our on-going projects here.
Lund University is the only university in Sweden to offer a multidisciplinary doctoral program in Human Rights Studies. Since the start of the program, which is still fairly new, two of our graduates have completed and defended their dissertations. First out was Linde Lindkvist, now in Uppsala, whose doctoral thesis is a study of the drafting history of the article on religious liberty in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Read more about Lindes project here.
Andrea Karlsson, now in Brussels, wrote her dissertation about liberal intellectual dissidents in contemporary Turkey. Read more about Andreas projekt here.
Read more about our on-going dissertation projects here.