Human Rights Initiative



The Age of Authoritarian Capitalism? Michael Ignatieff and the Future of Human Rights 

by Kiyoteru Tsutsui, Director, Human Rights Initiative

Human Rights Initiative is a forum for intellectual exchange established to promote deeper understanding of human rights issues in the contemporary world among scholars, practitioners, students, and the broader public. We invite renowned practitioners and scholars to share their insight and expertise on human rights gained through their experiences and research. Thanks to the generous support of the International Institute at the University of Michigan, we are able to offer several events each year featuring prominent speakers in the field of human rights. Please join us for a stimulating and inspiring conversation!

Visit the Human Rights Advocacy and the History of Human Rights Standards website, exploring the development of human rights standards and advocacy. To learn more about past lecture series, visit here



The International Institute’s Human Rights Initiative in partnership with the Social Science Korea Human Rights Forum seeks applications for a grant to support summer research on human rights in South Korea. This fellowship opportunity is open to University of Michigan graduate and advanced undergraduate students interested in studying human rights in Korea. This opportunity is enabled by generous funding from the Social Science Korea Human Rights Forum as well as the International Institute. The successful applicants are expected to spend a few weeks from late June to late July in South Korea to take a seminar course on human rights (taught in English) at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul and conduct research on human rights in Korea. After their stay in Korea, they are required to submit a 2-4 page report on their research.




U-M Library now subscribes to Human Rights Studies Online.

Human Rights Studies Online is a research and learning database providing comparative documentation, analysis, and interpretation of major human rights violations and atrocity crimes worldwide from 1900 to 2010. The collection includes primary and secondary materials across multiple media formats and content types for each selected event, including Armenia, the Holocaust, Cambodia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, Darfur, and more than thirty additional subjects.


MARCH 17, 2015:

HRI Lecture: "Women’s Rights in the 21st Century: Fifteen Years After UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security" Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize 1997 and Nobel Women's Initiative; and Jared Genser, Perseus Strategies and Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University . 


MARCH 19, 2014:

HRI Lecture: "Speaking Rights to Power" Alison Brysk, University of California, Santa Barbara.


January 23, 2015:

Juan Mendez: International Law and the Abolition of Torture VIDEO


October 20, 2014

Micheal Ignatieff: Human Rights and the Challenge of Authoritarian Capitalism VIDEO