The Escher Human Rights Escalator: Technologies of the Local

August 5, 2016, 12:30pm - 2:00pm

Wilf 5th Floor Conference Room
139 MacDougal Street
New York, NY

Valid ID and RSVP required. RSVP here or email Anam Salem.

Lunch will be provided.

About the Talk

This talk explores how invocations of local ownership facilitate the circulation of ideas about human rights accountability through the work of the International Criminal Court. In its most familiar form, local ownership is seen to ground legitimacy in grassroots realities, advance participatory processes of international criminal justice and enable the ‘upstreaming’ of local ideas that stand as counter point to the national or international discourse.  Yet, the speaker argues, the institutionalization of certain laws, policies and procedures that advance local ownership have configured local ownership so that it became internal to global governance rather than a locus for challenging transnational processes and global institutions.  Whereas in the past, the ‘local’ served to interrupt how particular approaches of human rights travelled; today, there is a machinery of local ownership that facilitates that travel in ways that have knit local ownership and global governance together in a web of universal human rights values that everyone cannot but want. The speaker asks how this changed the transformative potential of local ownership and answers questions about how to avoid and remedy this cooptation of local ownership.

About The Speaker

s200_vasuki.nesiahVasuki Nesiah is Associate Professor of Practice at the Gallatin School in NYU where she teaches human rights, law and social theory, and the politics of war and memory. She also continues as core faculty in Harvard Law School’s Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP). Nesiah’s main areas of research include the law and politics of international human rights and humanitarianism, with a particular focus on transitional justice. Her past publications have engaged with international feminisms and the history of colonialism in international law. She has also written on the politics of memory and comparative constitutionalism, with a particular focus on law and politics in South Asia. Her most immediate project includes a co-edited volume (with Luis Eslava and Michael Fakhri) on A Global History of Bandung and Critical Traditions in International Law, Cambridge University Press (forthcoming). Professor Nesiah’s publications can be accessed on this page.

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