Understand today. Shape tomorrow.
Understand today. Shape tomorrow.
Centre for Fundamental Rights: Are fundamental rights losing or gaining ground?
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. The Centre for Fundamental Rights at the Hertie School was established to address just this: resilience, relevance and future challenges concerning the protection of human and fundamental rights in domestic, regional and global governance.
Listen to a podcast of the launch event of the new Hertie School Centre for Fundamental Rights with a debate on the 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?
More on the participants: https://www.hertie-school.org/en/events/event-previews/2020/20-02-2020-are-fundamental-rights-losing-or-gaining-ground/
The arrest, detention, and torture of health workers by the Syrian government
Panel discusses findings of the Physicians for Human Rights report at Centre for Fundamental Rights event.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) presented research into the arrest, detention, and torture of health workers by the Syrian government at an event on 4 December hosted by the Hertie School Centre for Fundamental Rights. The report, “'My only crime was that I was a doctor': How the Syrian government targets health workers for arrest, detention, and torture", was part of a discussion on accountability for violations of human rights and international humanitarian law during the Syrian conflict, as currently being considered by international and national tribunals.
The discussion included Başak Çalı, Professor of International Law at the Hertie School and Director of the School's Centre for Fundamental Rights, Michele Heisler, physician and Medical Director at Physicians for Human Rights, Mazen Kewara, physician and Country Director for Turkey at the Syrian American Medical Society, Rayan Koteiche, researcher at Physicians for Human Rights and Shaher Younes, a detention survivor and human rights activist.
Describing the hurdles for holding Syria accountable as a state on and of individual perpetrators Professor Cali noted that, “Domestic courts are the place where we see tiny glimpses of accountability at the moment: In Germany, Sweden, Norway and France. Where international systems are blocked, this horizontal movement in incredibly important”.
The event was part of the series “Fundamental Rights in Practice” hosted by the Centre for Fundamental Rights.
Squaring the circle? Fundamental right to a minimum standard of living and welfare conditionality
A discussion following the German Federal Constitutional Court’s decision on 5 November 2019 declaring the sanctions imposed on recipients of unemployment benefits in part unconstitutional.
Hosted by the Hertie School Centre for Fundamental Rights.
The “Hartz IV” German labour market reform of 2005 has long been controversial - in particular, placing conditions on welfare recipients to receive benefits. Recipients of the standard welfare benefits in Germany can see their benefits reduced by 30%, if they refuse to take up or continue an employment opportunity with the possibility of a further reduction of 60%. Benefits can also be suspend in full if they grossly fail their obligations to cooperate.
The German Federal Constitutional Court ruled on 5 November that this sanctioning scheme is in part unconstitutional as it fails to comply with the protection of fundamental rights - most notably, the fundamental right to a minimum standard of living.
How did the Court come to this decision? Is it convincing from a fundamental rights and a social policy perspective? What are the implications for the current social welfare model in Germany? What comparisons can be drawn?
This event is part of the Debating Fundamental Rights events series.
Başak Çalı is Professor of International Law at the Hertie School and Director of the School's Centre for Fundamental Rights. She is an expert in international law and institutions, international human rights law and policy. She has authored publications on theories of international law, the relationship between international law and domestic law, standards of review in international law, interpretation of human rights law, legitimacy of human rights courts, and implementation of human rights judgments.
Anke Hassel is Professor of Public Policy at the Hertie School. From 2016 to 2019 she was the Scientific Director of the WSI at the Hans Böckler Foundation. Anke Hassel has extensive international experience and scientific expertise in the fields of the labour market, social partnership, codetermination and the comparative political economy of developed industrial nations.
Florian Rödl is University-Professor for Private Law, Labour Law and Social at the Freie Universität Berlin since 2016. Before, he led a group of junior researchers at the Cluster of Excellence "Normative Orders" at Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main.
Michal Kramer is Centre Manager, Centre for Fundamental Rights. Before joining The Hertie School she was a postdoctoral fellow at the interdisciplinary research group "Human Rights Under Pressure", a joint programme of Freie Universität Berlin and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She held a teaching position at the Law Department of Freie Universität Berlin and a research position at The Israel Democracy Institute.
Security and climate change: Fixing the missing links?
Climate change is increasingly considered a security threat with potentially far-reaching implications for the geostrategic environment. Through large-scale migration, increased border tensions, and greater demands for rescue and evacuation efforts, climate change potentially impacts the individual security of people and the viability of vulnerable states to an extent that exceeds existing disaster-response capabilities. As a result, Germany has announced that one focus of its membership in the United Nations Security Council will be on climate related security risks.
Links to climate change have slowly started to enter UN resolutions in recent years, but there is still controversy about the extent to which climate related security risks can and should be addressed by the UN Security Council. How can the international community best address resource conflicts driven by climate change? What consideration needs to be given to climate change in conflict prevention? And what are the long-term consequences of including climate change in the agenda of the UN Security Council with regards to sanctions and peacekeeping?
A discussion on the security implications of climate change and the role of the UN Security Council in this context, with speakers Ottmar Georg Edenhofer, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Professor for the Economics of Climate Change at the Technical University Berlin and founding director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), Nina von Uexkull, Assistant Professor at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University and Associate Senior Researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo, and Karl-Heinz Kamp, Special Envoy of the Political Director in the German Ministry of Defence. Welcome and introduction by Detlef Dzembritzki, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the United Nations Association of Germany, event chaired by Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, Senior Professor for Security Policy and Diplomatic Practice at the Hertie School, Director of the school’s Centre for International Security and Chairman of the Munich Security Conference.
Closing the SDG financing gap
Keynote and discussion with Masood Ahmed, President of the Center for Global Development.
Major constraints to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include limited financing, inadequate infrastructure, poor quality institutions, and social norms. In this talk, Masood Ahmed focuses on the financing challenges related to achieving the SDGs. He discusses the low levels of private investment that have thus far been mobilised, challenges related to domestic resource mobilisation, and debt sustainability issues. Against this backdrop, he examines the key issue of how development finance institutions and developing countries can make progress in achieving the SDGs.
More about this event: https://www.hertie-school.org/en/closingthesdgfinancinggap/
Why do some ideas catch on? Johanna Mair examines systemic power in fields.
Why do some ideas take hold in fields and become standard practice while others are passed over and forgotten? What happened to these ideas that were “lost” along the way and may have pointed to an alternative path, one that was not necessarily wrong or bad? Hertie School Professor of Organization, Strategy and Leadership Johanna Mair and co-authors look at how forms of systemic power arise in a particular field, using the field of impact investing as a lens, in new research forthcoming in the Academy of Management Journal and available online as of September 2019.
More about this research: https://www.hertie-school.org/en/debate/allcontent/detail/content/why-do-some-ideas-catch-on-in-fields-and-others-dont/