Call for ‚Position-Papers‘: Transformation of the International Human Rights Regime after 9/11

The DVWP (Deutsche Vereinigung für Politische Wissenschaft)/ APSA (American Political Science Association) will hold a conference at Humboldt University Berlin, on 27.-29. April 2007.


The DVWP (Deutsche Vereinigung für Politische Wissenschaft)/ APSA (American Political Science Association) will hold a conference at Humboldt University Berlin, on 27.-29. April 2007.

The conference is dedicated to reflect the political events and the aftermath of 9/11 as they have created a severe shock to the international human rights regime. The DVWP/APSA conference aims at developing a joined research program among German and US-American political scientists and scholars. Participant will therefore be asked to anticipate a long term contribution and academic cooperation between German and US-American researchers. The next conference will be held at Pittsburg University in 2008.

Outline: We now face major challenges in guaranteeing and implementing human rights norms and standards nationally and internationally. This is the case not only in the USA but also in Europe. Perhaps more seriously, the very commitment to fundamental or inviolable human rights is itself in question.  
Countries that had once seemed unwavering in their commitments to human rights, such as Germany and the USA, have introduced legal reforms and policies that violate basic human rights.  Perhaps most significant in this respect are transformed foreign policies that, at both tactical and strategic levels, show systematic and intentional disregard for human rights.  These changes, invoked in the name of national security and the war on terror, have resulted in the significant erosion of human rights protections enjoyed by citizens of Western democracies – not to mention their often blatant disregard of the human rights of ‚enemy combatants‘ and civilians around the world.  
These changes also threaten the credibility of the international human rights regime, including some of its key institutions, such as the United Nations and the Council of Europe. The impact of these developments extends well beyond the formal human rights regime as well, rekindling old fears about the ideological abuse of human rights rhetoric by the great powers and about double standards governing the application of human rights within and beyond the Western democracies.  

The conference will take place at:
Humboldt University of Berlin
Institute for European Ethnology
Mohrenstr. 41, Room 311
10117 Berlin, Germany

Scholars of Political Science and other Social Science disciplines are invited to submit a position paper (5-10 pages) that tackles issues in respect of the outlined transformation process after 9/11, by 15 March 2007 to
Dr. Anja Mihr, DVPW ad-hoc Gruppe ‚Menschenrechte‘, Humboldt University of Berlin/ European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation, Venice. Mail: Anja.Mihr@staff.hu-berlin.de  or anja.mihr@eiuc.org