Footnote:EUROCLIO – European Association of History Educators – and The Europaeum – an association of leading European Universities – were awarded a grant by the European Union Education and Culture DG ‘Europe for Citizens’ Programme to help support a series of events and workshops across Europe on the theme “Human Rights in Europe? Tolerance, Democracy, Citizenship, Critical thinking and Multi-perspectivity as European Values” during the 2007-2008 academic school year. This project is in line with the objectives of the EU-Programme ‘to bring Europe closer to its citizens’ and to involve them in transnational cooperation activities, to develop a sense of belonging to common European ideals and achievements and to promote further European integration. Therefore the project is designed to run for several years within the Europe for Citizens-Programme, so that it may tackle other themes and reach higher sustainability.
As part of the continuing EuroClio-Europaeum series this year, a special seminar was organised at the University of Oxford on the theme Ending Empires: how and why? - Britain, Habsburg, Spain et al on Friday, 9th May.
The 2008 theme of the IEP-UCP Estoril Political Forum was on Human Rights Today: 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and included speakers such as João Carlos Espada (Director, IEP-UCP and Editor, Nova Cidadania, Lisbon), Anthony O’Hear (Director, Royal Institute Of Philosophy and Editor, Philosophy, London), Raymond Plant (King’s College, House of Lords, London), Marc F. Plattner (Editor, Journal of Democracy, Director, IFDS, Washington, D.C.), and Susan Shell (Boston College, Boston), among many others. Click here to download the final Programme
The conference included a special debate on Should Human Rights play a major role in international affairs ? with students from the Europaeum, IEP-UCP, Georgetown University, and the National--Louis University, Poland. The debate was chaired by Dr Paul Flather (Secretary General, Europaeum), with expert moderators Dr Michael Pinto-Duschinsky (Member of the Board, IFES, Oxford) and Professor Eusebio Mujal-Leon (Georgetown University, Washington DC).
The fight against terrorism must not break the process of development, argues RALF DAHRENDORF. Here he outlines his vision of a smart development policy
The attempt to explain dramatic, specific events, in general terms, may be tempting. It is also difficult, and, in some ways it is always dubious. At a conference in Germany there were at least two dozen explanations of what happened in that school, when a boy ran amok and killed many pupils and teachers in 2002. In Erfurt I disappointed a large audience by saying that little can be said about such an event by way of explanation. It is in the first instance, horrible, but is also an event for which there may be no particular explanation beyond the motives of the individuals involved. It may be very misleading to argue that saying this is all about relations between parents and children, or about changes in the curriculum and about schools or about the anxieties of a whole generation. Even the term ‘running amok’ is, after all, rather older than this particular event.
In a global age, leading western universities have an ethical duty to reach out and make partnerships to fight for global justise, poverty and the environment argues MARY ROBINSON
I am convinced that if the divides in our world between North and South, rich and poor, religious and secular, us and them, are to be bridged, then we need to give more empahsis to a values-led or ethical approach to national and international policy-making which would draw on the international human rights framework.
Professor Brownlie's lecture took as its starting point his own renowned book, International Law and the Use of Force by States, which investigates the status of war from ancient civilizations and in early Christian doctrine to the United Nations era. The book gives considerable importance to the 1928 General Treaty for the Renunciation of War, often referred to as the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which indicates two elements sponsoring an ambitious doctrine of self-defence. The first is a right to self-defence which exists in customary law formed in the nineteenth century. The second element (discerned from the practice of the period 1928 to 1945) includes the following: the obligation not to have recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, the obligation to settle disputes exclusively by peaceful means, the reservation of the right of self-defence and also of collective self-defence, and the reservation of the obligations of the League of Nations Covenant. These essentials reappear in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter brought into force in 1945.
Britain's Human Rights Act comes into force this autumn. Its arrival is already highlighting the deeply ambivalent attitude that the UK, with is common law tradition, has to human rights. Here DAVID ROBERTSON explores these European ambiguities.
The British perspective on human rights, if there is such a thing, is best described as deeply ambivalent - ambivalent, but also, with the passing of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) which formally comes into force this autumn, hopefully on the brink of transformation.
The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva is hosting a special Europaeum Lecture by Professor Vaughan Lowe on The Double Helix of Terrorism and Tyranny: can civil liberties survive the war on terror?, to be held on 11th March, 2008.
Speaker: Professor Vaughan Lowe Vaughan Lowe is Chichele Professor of Public International Law, and a Fellow of All Souls College, in the University of Oxford. He was formerly Reader in International Law in the University of Cambridge; and before that he taught at the universities of Cardiff and Manchester and, as a visiting professor, in the USA. He practices in the field of international law as a barrister from Essex Court Chambers, London, and has appeared in cases before the English courts, international arbitral tribunals, the European Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, and the International Court of Justice. He has been a member of arbitral tribunals constituted under the UN Law of the Sea Convention and NAFTA. He writes extensively on matters of international law.
The Jagiellonian University, Krakow hosted a special Europaeum Lecture by Professor David Marquand on The Challenges for Democracy in Europe, held on 18th October, 2007.
Professor David Marquand
David Marquand was educated at Emanuel School, Magdalen College, Oxford, St Antony's College, Oxford, and at the University of California, Berkeley. Marquand's writings are broadly based upon issues surrounding British politics and social democracy. He was a British MP from 1966 to 1977, when he resigned his seat to work as Chief Advisor (from 1977 to 1978) to his mentor Roy Jenkins who had been appointed President of the European Commission. Marquand has written extensively on the future of the European Union and the need for constitutional reform in the United Kingdom.
The European Political Concepts Research Group, supported by the Europaeum, will hold its second meeting in Helsinki on Meanings of Rights and Democracy in Europe on 17-18th March.
PREDRAG VOSTINIC recounts his recent experiences as a journalist in Yugoslavia, and explains how the Internet became a potent political weapon of resistance in the overthrow of Milosevich.
When the war began in the former Yugoslavia, the most important military targets were telecommunications facilities and radio and television transmitters. Telephone lines were, as a rule, cut off between the parties in the conflict, imposing an information blockade that opened a space for manipulation, i.e. establishing the "monopoly on truth". This was an attack on objectivity. The lack of reliable information on the most interesting events and developments - the elimination of the senses of sight and hearing, made it more difficult to motivate the public for antiwar campaigns.