IRW Distinguished Lecture Series - Radhika Balakrishnan, “The Radical Potential of Human Rights”


Thursday, January 28, 2016, 04:00pm - 06:00pm

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When most people hear the words “human rights,” they immediately think of torture, unlawful detention, censorship and political oppression. But human rights also encompass “economic and social rights”—the right to work, the right to health, the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to food, and the right to housing and shelter, among others. It is precisely these rights that were most threatened by the global economic crisis and that provide the most compelling basis for an alternative set of policies. But human rights are often criticized by those on the left as being individualistic and therefore feeding into neoliberal ideologies that cast the challenge of social justice narrowly, in terms of protecting and advancing individual freedoms. But the full realization of economic and social rights requires a strong state, international cooperation and robust social institutions. Securing individual rights demands collective action and responsibility.

Free and open to the public.


Ruth Dill Johnson Crockett Building, 162 Ryders Lane, Douglass Campus, Rutgers-New Brunswick