International Human Rights Symposium at Yale

The annual symposium of the Robert L. Bernstein Fellowship in International Human Rights will be held at Yale Law School, 127 Wall St., on February 27 and 28.

“Global Interests and Local Needs: Striking a Balance in Post-Conflict States,” is free and open to the public.

The symposium seeks to clarify the role that human rights, development, local empowerment and constitutionalism play in the reconstruction of post-conflict states. “Each is an essential component in any plan to put a failed state on the right track,” said James Silk, executive director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights, which co-sponsors the symposium. “But when it comes to nation-building, is there a conflict between global interests and local needs? Whether interventions after September 11 will represent the birth of a successful, sustainable approach to nation-building or a new failure depends, in large part, on the extent to which development programs and constitutional structures are crafted with respect for human rights and have the imprimatur of local legitimacy.”

The opening panel on Thursday, Feb. 27, at 6:45 p.m. will offer an exchange of views regarding the reconstruction of post-conflict states, moderated by W. Michael Reisman, the Myres S. McDougal Professor of International Law at Yale Law School. Panelists include Yale Law School Professor Amy Chua, author of “World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability;” and Niall Ferguson, the Herzog Professor of Financial History at the Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University, author of numerous award-winning books on business and history, including the upcoming “Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power.”

The closing address, which will explore alternatives for the future, will be given by Harold Koh, the Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law at Yale Law School. His talk on “The Future of Democracy Promotion” will be on Friday Feb. 28 at 5:45 p.m. in Room 127.

Two regional panels on Friday will focus on reconstruction efforts in post-conflict African and Balkan states, while other panels will explore the roles played by key participants in international civil society, and offer an appraisal of the current model of democracy promotion in use around the world today. Other panels will examine the role of various key international participants in post-conflict nation building and will evaluate the emerging model of democracy promotion.

The symposium is sponsored by the Law School’s Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights and the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal.

The Robert L. Bernstein Fellowships in International Human Rights were established in 1997 to honor Robert Bernstein, the former chair, president and CEO of Random House, Inc., and the founding chair of Human Rights Watch. The fellowships provide financial support to allow two Yale Law School graduates to pursue full-time international human rights work for one year.

Former Bernstein Fellows have worked on projects promoting and protecting human rights in such diverse locations as Eritrea, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Thailand, and Tibet. The current Bernstein Fellows will discuss their work on Friday, Feb. 27, at 12:30 p.m. in the Faculty Lounge at Yale Law School. Eric Friedman ‘02 LAW is working on the relationship between HIV/AIDS and human rights at Physicians for Human Rights, and Molly Beutz ‘01 LAW is addressing issues concerning violence against women at the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights.

The 2003-2004 Bernstein Fellows will be announced at a reception immediately following the final speakers on Friday in the Law School’s Alumni Reading Room.

The symposium agenda follows.

THE ORVILLE H. SCHELL, JR. CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE YALE HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEVELOPMENT LAW JOURNAL PRESENT:

THE 2003 BERNSTEIN SYMPOSIUM
GLOBAL INTERESTS AND LOCAL NEEDS:
STRIKING A BALANCE IN POST-CONFLICT STATES
YALE LAW SCHOOL
FEBRUARY 27-28, 2003

Post-conflict states risk falling into a spiral of abuses and becoming dependent on outside forces to maintain a more peaceful status quo. Human rights, development, local empowerment, and constitutionalism must each be an essential component in any plan to put a failed state on the right track. Each also raises a difficult question: when it comes to nation-building, is there a conflict between global interests and local needs? Whether interventions after September 11 will represent the birth of a successful, sustainable approach to nation-building or a new failure depends, in large part, on the extent to which development programs and constitutional structures are crafted with respect for human rights and have the imprimatur of local legitimacy. This symposium will seek to clarify the role that human rights, development, and local empowerment play in the reconstruction of post-conflict states.

The symposium will balance analysis of the broad thematic issues critical to the reconstruction of any post-conflict state with the exploration of specific attempts at reconstruction. Broader theoretical issues will be explored in the introductory address, which will focus on the lessons to be drawn from past reconstruction efforts; the concluding, keynote address, which will explore alternatives for the future; and the two thematic panels, one centering on the roles played by relevant participants in international civil society and the other on appraising the emerging model of international democracy-promotion efforts. Two regional panels will offer a more focused examination of reconstruction efforts in post-conflict African and Balkan states.

Thursday, February 27
6:45 p.m., Room 127
Reconstruction of Post-Conflict States: An Exchange of Views
Moderator: Michael Reisman, Myres S. McDougal Professor of International Law, Yale Law School
Speakers:
* Amy Chua, Professor, Yale Law School
* Niall Ferguson, Herzog Professor of Financial History, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University

Friday, February 28
9- 10:30 a.m., Room 127
Panel I: The Players
An analysis of the reconstruction of post-conflict states reveals that such undertakings have tended to involve a nucleus of key participants from international civil society, including donor groups, intergovernmental organizations and nongovernmental organizations. This panel will allow representatives of these organizations to provide a candid appraisal of their roles in past and present reconstruction efforts. What are the criteria or the factors with the greatest impact on their decision to participate in a reconstruction effort? What are their goals in participating in a reconstruction effort? What limits do they place on their participation at the outset? To what extent does the success of their participation in reconstruction efforts depend on other key players? How do they conceptualize and manage their collaborative relationships with other key players? How do they conceive of their relationship with post-conflict states and their peoples?
Moderator: Rudy von Bernuth, Vice President, Division of Humanitarian Response, Save the Children USA
Panelists
* Isam Ghanim, Director, Program Analysis and Development Group, CARE USA
* Ameera Haq, Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Director, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, United Nations Development Program
* Representative of United States Agency for International Development
* Christiaan J. Poortman, Operations Director, Vice President’s Office of the Africa Region, and former Coordinator for South East Europe, World Bank.

10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., Room 120
Panel II: Reconstruction in Post-Conflict African States
Have reconstruction projects undertaken in post-conflict African states succeeded in integrating human rights, development, local empowerment, and constitutionalism? How have they sought to guarantee that nation-building will abide by the principles of self-determination, human rights, and a deep and genuine respect for the peoples living in the states at issue? How have these projects fared in promoting local accountability? What are the mechanisms that have been put it place to help assure these states’ ultimate success? What have been the key obstacles to the success of these efforts? How could these obstacles have been overcome?
Moderator: Makau wa Mutua, Professor, SUNY Buffalo Law School
Panelists
* Jennifer Cooke, Deputy Director, Africa Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies
* Aileen Marshall, Senior Advisor, Global Coalition for Africa
* Peter Uvin, Henry J. Leir Associate Professor of International Humanitarian Studies, Fletcher School, Tufts University

12:30 - 2 p.m., Faculty Lounge
Lunch Provided
Human Rights Workshop
Current Bernstein Fellows discuss their work.
* Molly Beutz, Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights
* Eric Friedman, Physicians for Human Rights

2:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m., Room 127
Panel III: Reconstruction in Post-Conflict Balkan States
Have reconstruction projects undertaken in post-conflict Balkan states succeeded in integrating human rights, development, local empowerment, and constitutionalism? How have they sought to guarantee that nation-building will abide by the principles of self-determination, human rights, and a deep and genuine respect for the peoples living in the states at issue? How have these projects fared in promoting local accountability? What are the mechanisms that have been put it place to help assure these states’ ultimate success? What have been the key obstacles to the success of these efforts? How could these obstacles have been overcome?
Moderator: Elizabeth Anderson, Executive Director, Europe and Central Asia Division, Human Rights Watch
Panelists
* James C. O’Brien, Principal, The Albright Group LLC
* William G. O’Neill, Independent Consultant
* Nicholas Whyte, Balkans Program Director, International Crisis Group

4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Room 127
Panel IV: An Emerging Model of Multilateral Democracy Promotion: Appraisals and Alternatives
Multilateral efforts at reconstructing post-conflict states bear all or some of the characteristics of what can be termed an emerging model of democracy promotion: the United Nations brokers peace accords to end civil conflicts, disarms combatants, repatriates refugees, punishes human rights violators, drafts a new democratic constitution and monitors elections. How well has this model worked in the past? How can this model be improved? Do the multilateral reconstruction efforts currently being undertaken in Afghanistan bode well for the future?
Moderator: Greg Fox, Associate Professor, Wayne State University Law School
Panelists
* Charles Call, Assistant Professor, Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University
* Patrick Merloe, Senior Associate and Director, Programs on Elections and Political Processes, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs
* Marina Ottaway, Senior Associate, Democracy and Rule of Law Project, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

5:45 p.m., Rm. 127
Closing Address: The Future of Democracy Promotion
How can foreign states, international institutions, and NGOs encourage reconstruction that respects democracy and human rights without imposing too much on the local society? How can they mediate the tension between the interests and principles that shape their involvement, the need for flexibility and room to maneuver, and the importance of local control over national projects? What role should the international community, including state, international, and private actors, play in developing the economic, social and governmental structure of the new state?
Speaker
* Harold Koh, Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law, Yale Law School

7 p.m., Alumni Reading Room
Reception: Introduction of 2003-2004 Bernstein Fellows

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325