Global governance and human rights

Photo: Rafah (Mohamed Omer)

This research line builds on earlier[1] and ongoing collaborative work on international cooperation, in particular in the area of development, regionalism, and human rights.

This line of research is informed by the understanding that collaborative responses to common problems require the formulation and implementation of international norms and principles. Global or regional collaboration is fuelled by the awareness of increasing interdependence among previously more autonomous entities. Such enhanced interdependence has made clear that collaborative regimes are a sine qua non for the fight against poverty and the protection of individual and collective rights worldwide.

Three interrelated themes

Research on global governance and human rights focuses on three interrelated themes:

  • Principles and practices of international cooperation

In the first place, research focuses on principles and practices of international cooperation, either at the level of donor organizations (governmental and non-governmental) or at that of multilateral cooperation regimes.

Recent trends suggest the importance of governance quality in aid-receiving countries, political regimes and democracy promotion, and human rights as components (or sometimes outright conditions) of international cooperation. Conflicts and frameworks for conflict resolution occupy an important place among the mechanisms for international cooperation.

  • Regional cooperation schemes

Next to this, regional cooperation schemes – either more formalized in regionalist frameworks, or in the form of looser framework – are a second focal point of research.

Research on regional cooperation is undertaken in order to assess how global trends permeate to the regional level, are absorbed at that level into policy making or meet with resistance at that level, and how regional identities are shaped. The role of norm-setting at the regional level is an important point of attention.

  • The evolving human rights regime

In the third place, the evolving human rights regime and its application in policy making and development practice is a central element.  This line in the research programme investigates examples of what are called ‘human rights-based approaches’ to social justice and development practice and policy.

Researchers examine core ethical, strategic, legal and political dilemmas that arise in the governance and misgovernance of some of the most marginalized and conflict-affected groups and societies in the Global South.

Evolving human rights advocacy strategies and rights-based regimes of governmentality are explored in diverse settings, including the EU, Palestine/Israel, South Africa, Latin America and the African Great Lakes region.

GGSJ researchers and contact

Researchers working on the themes of international regional cooperation are:

Karin Arts, Wil Hout, Rosalba Icaza, Karim Knio, Mohamed Salih and Shyamika Jayasundara, with PhD students Ome Chattranond, David Ibukun, Getrude Isimon, Wahab Sadaat, Salem Salem, Anggun Susilo, Joanna Vondee and Ward Warmerdam.

Researchers addressing the theme of human rights are:

Karin Arts, Des Gasper, Jeff Handmaker, Silke Heumann, Helen Hintjens and Mohamed Salih with PhD students Mohammed Omer Al Moghayer and Tamara Soukotta.

For more information contact Karin Arts

[1] Between 2005 and 2010, ISS led one research group of the EU-funded FP6 network of excellence GARNET (‘Global Governance, Regionalisation and Regulation: The Role of the EU’). The working group on ‘Global Governance and North-South Relations’, coordinated by Richard Robison (2005-6) and Wil Hout (2006-10), organised various conferences at ISS between 2006 and 2009 and produced several publications. ISS senior participants in the GARNET working group were: Kees Biekart, Des Gasper, Helen Hintjens, Wil Hout, Rosalba Icaza, Karim Knio, Jos Mooij, Richard Robison and Joop de Wit. In addition to the ISS staff, PhD students Nisrine El Ghaziri and Pascale Hatcher were among the participants in the activities of the working group. All participated in one or several GARNET conferences and contributed to one or more publications resulting from the research project.