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Human Interactions and Normative Innovations

Year of Funding: 

The goal of this research cluster is to promote interactions among faculty and students working on human rights and to research different contexts in which normative ideals such as humanity (Salamanca School), rights and citizenship (European Enlightenment), and human rights (Critical Theory) have emerged. This initiative is part of a multi-year project involving colloquia, seminars, international exchanges, and other activities to be developed in partnership with the University of Frankfurt, Germany.

Research Areas

  • Humanity and rights in early modernity: This area researches how the encounter of different cultures in the Americas prompted the recognition of diversity and the conception of new geopolitical orders since the 16th century. It includes work on the Salamanca School, Latin America, and Indigenous rights.
  • Transition from natural rights to civil rights: This area studies images and concepts of humanity, rights, and citizenship proposed during the European Renaissance and Enlightenment and observes how these concepts still inspire studies in political theory, international relations, education, and other disciplines.
  • Contemporary challenges to human rights and global citizenship: Based on the normative framework of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and contemporary studies on globalization, this area addresses contemporary international challenges and searches for ways to improve discourses on human rights and citizenship.

Research Partnerships

Additional Information



  • Yonn Dierwechter
  • Emily Ignacio
  • Turan Kayaoglu
  • Bruce Kochis
  • Ron Krabill
  • Jamie Mayerfeld
  • Divya McMillin
  • Johann Reusch
  • Michael Rosenthal
  • William Talbott
  • Jonathan Warren
  • Sabine Wilke

2012 Conference

Read the CFP for "Cosmopolitan Rights and Responsibilities," a Human Interactions and Normative Innovations conference that will take place at the University of Washington on May 11-12, 2012.