Human Rights under Pressure

 

In 2014 the Hebrew University’s Minerva Center for Human Rights and the Free University of Berlin opened an unprecedented joint multidisciplinary international PhD program in human rights. Entitled “Human Rights under Pressure” (“HR-UP”), the program was funded by grants totaling €4.5 million from Einstein Foundation Berlin and the German Research Foundation (DFG). 38 outstanding Doctoral candidates in a wide variety of topics and disciplines participated in the program’s three cohorts – each fully-funded for a period of 3-4 years. The program also included a total of 12 Postdoctoral Fellows. This was the first-ever PhD program in human rights in Israel – and the first joint German-Israeli PhD program (in any field) ever funded by the German Research Foundation. The program concluded in 2019.

 

For more information about the program >

 

 

Year 5: 2018-2019

Postdoctoral fellows:

Dr. Lior Erez (University College London), "Motivating Cosmopolitanism: A Political Critique"

Dr. Tomer Shadmy (Tel-Aviv University), "Data-Driven Corporations and Human Rights: How to Go Forward"

Year 4: 2017-2018

Postdoctoral fellows:

Dr. Nimrod Kovner (London School of Economics), “Rights, Risk, and Vaccination Ethics

Dr. Vera Shikhelman (University of Chicago), “(1) Universal Periodical Review in the UN Human Rights Council; (2) State Compliance with International Human Rights Law”

Year 3: 2016-2017

Cohort 3:

Lior Birger, “Families under Pressure: Ecological Understanding of Eritrean Asylum Seekers Parenting in a New Country - The Case of Germany and Israel” (Prof. Mimi Ajzenstadt and Dr. Yochay Nadan, School of Social Work, HUJ; Prof. Kristin Drenkhahn, Law, FUB)

Michal Cotler-Wunsch, “In Defense of Free Speech: Creating or Re-affirming the Distinction between Human Rights and Civil Liberties – A Comparative Study” (Prof. Barak Medina, Law, HUJ; Prof. Eckart Klein, Law, Potsdam)

Ofir Hadad, “Policies towards "Threatened" Palestinians” (Prof. Menahem Hofnung, Political Science, HUJ; Prof. Uwe Flick, Political and Social Sciences, FUB)

Merav Kaddar, “Urban Agency and Artistic Interventions as Transitional Justice Mechanisms in Contested Urban Spaces” (Prof. Avner de Shalit, Political Science, HUJ; Prof. Helmut Aust, Law, FUB)

Habtom Mehari, “The Struggle for Human Rights and Dignity in Post-Independence Eritrea: The Experience of Eritreans in Diaspora” (Dr. Yael Berda, Sociology, HUJ; Prof. Kristin Drenkhahn, Law, FUB)

Bana Shoughry, “Islamic Law, Gender and Human Rights under the Jewish- Democratic State” (Prof. Michael Karayanni, Law, HUJ; Prof. Schirin Amir-Moazami, Islamic Studies, FUB)

Rachel Zeliger, “Restrictions on the Inflow of Cross-border Philanthropy, Globalization and Freedom of Association” (Prof. Tomer Broude, Law and International Relations, HUJ; Prof. Heike Krieger, Law, FUB)
 

Postdoctoral fellows:

Dr. Ebtesam Barakat (Bar Ilan University), “How Educated Druze Women Handle the Main Labor Market”

Dr. Natalie Davidson (Tel Aviv University), “The Changing Definition of Torture: A Socio-Legal Inquiry”
 

Introductory seminar in Jerusalem for each incoming cohort

Each fall, the Minerva Center for Human Rights brings together the entire new incoming cohort of HR-UP Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows (including those in Berlin) for an intensive 2-week Introductory Seminar in Jerusalem. The aims of the seminar are to introduce the new cohort to HR-UP and its interdisciplinary approach; to enable the Fellows from the two universities to become acquainted with one another, and with the HR-UP faculty and staff, on both a personal and academic level, and to continue building connections that will form the basis of a fruitful collaboration throughout their involvement with the program; to allow each student to present his or her research to the group, and provide a forum for discussion and feedback from the other students, their advisors and researchers; to give the FUB students a first opportunity for personal acquaintance with their HUJI supervisors; to acquaint the students from FUB with Jerusalem and Israel; and to expose the students from both universities to a variety of human rights issues “in the field”. These goals are achieved through a demanding schedule of lectures, discussions, site visits and field trips with leading academics and civil society organizations.

On November 12-25, 2016, the Minerva Center held the intensive Introductory Seminar for the 3rd cohort of HR-UP, comprising 17 new Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows. Each of the new Fellows presented their research plans and methodologies to the group, and benefitted from numerous guest lectures and symposia, discussing diverse substantive and methodological issues with more than 20 HUJ faculty members as well as several faculty members from FUB. The program also included a number of thematic tours (Yad Vashem, East Jerusalem, the asylum-seeker community in Tel Aviv, unrecognized Bedouin villages in the South) followed by critical discussion of the issues they highlighted. The Introductory Seminar also included a special event at the Jerusalem Cinematheque for the HR-UP students and faculty, with a special screening of the documentary "Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa" – on the Jewish ANC lawyer in South Africa who survived an assassination attempt by the Apartheid regime and eventually became a key author of the country's post-Apartheid constitution and a Justice of the first Constitutional Court of South Africa. The evening also included a discussion with the film's director, Abby Ginzberg – and the screening of an interview that Albie Sachs recorded specially for this Minerva Center event and for the HR-UP students, on lessons from South Africa for Israel/Palestine.

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Speakers at the HR-UP introductory seminar included:

Prof. Menahem Hofnung, Department of Political Science, HUJI, “Political and Social Introduction to Israel”

Dr. Amos Goldberg, Dept. of Jewish History and Contemporary Judaism, HUJI, "The Understanding and Portrayal of the Holocaust in Israel”

Prof. Tomer Broude, HR-UP Co-Director, HUJI, “Interdisciplinarity and Human Rights”

Prof. Moshe Sluhovsky, Head of School of History and Dept. of History, HUJI, “Migration and Transplantation of Gay Lifestyle from Berlin to Palestine in the 1930s”

Prof. Alon Harel, Faculty of Law “The Development of LGBT Rights in Israel”

Prof. Hillel Cohen, Dept. of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, Head of the Cherrick Center for the Study of Zionism, the Yishuv & the State of Israel, HUJI “Jerusalem and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”

Adv. Hassan Jabareen, Founder and Director of the NGO Adalah – The Legal

Center for Arab Minority Rights; Prof. Barak Medina, Faculty of Law, HUJI, “The Arab Minority in Israel”

Prof. Cesare Romano, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, “The Right to Benefit from Scientific Research”
 

Summer school in Berlin

Another important element of HR-UP is the 10-day summer school held annually in Berlin, in which all cohorts and many program faculty from both HUJ and FUB (as well as the HR-UP International Advisory Board) participate. The summer school includes presentations by each of the Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows, lectures and workshops with top guest speakers, and site visits and field trips focusing on local and global human rights issues. The 2017 summer school was held on July 9–20, with the participation of all three cohorts of young researchers (almost 40 in total), in addition to faculty from both institutions and prominent guest speakers. An especially significant contingent of Hebrew University HR-UP faculty attended the summer school this year: Mimi Ajzenstadt, Einat Albin, Christian Baden, Avishai Benish, Tomer Broude, Avner De-Shalit, Badi Hasisi, Menachem Hofnung, Mordechai Kremnitzer, Galia Press-Barnatan and Yael Ronen.
 

Guest speakers at the HR-UP biweekly colloquia

Leading experts from diverse human rights-related fields are invited to present and discuss their work with the HR-UP students in the biweekly colloquia. Thanks to the videoconference technology, the speakers may be in either Berlin or Jerusalem, and the students from both universities participate in the discussion.

Guest speakers at the HR-UP biweekly colloquia hosted in Jerusalem by the HUJ Center in 2016-2017 included:

Prof. Patrick Macklem, University of Toronto (HUJI) "The Practice and Purpose of Human Rights"

Prof. Ivana Jelic, University of Montenegro (FUB) "International Minority Rights Protection, with Special Emphasize on European System"

Prof. Deborah Hellman, University of Virginia (HUJI) “Indirect Discrimination”

Prof. Mark Goodale, University of Lausanne (HUJI) "Human Rights in an Anthropological Key"

Prof. Leif Wenar, King's College London (HUJI) "Human Rights, Popular Sovereignty and the Oil Curse"

Prof. Basak Cali, Koח University Istanbul (FUB) "Studying Human Rights as an International Legal Project"

Prof. Matthias Mahlmann, University of Zurich (FUB) “Current Human Rights Revisionism and the Foundations of Human Rights”

Prof. Steffen Hindelang, Free University of Berlin (HUJI) "Human Rights & Investment Tribunals"

Prof. James Anaya, Colorado University (HUJI) “The Rights of Indigenous Peoples“

Prof. Philippe Sands, University College London (HUJI) “The Relationship Between Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide”

Prof. Samantha Besson, Freiburg University (HUJI) “Protecting Economic Rights as International Legal Human Rights”

Prof. Catharine MacKinnon, University of Michigan Law School (HUJI) “Rape Redefined”

Prof. Ingrid Robeyns, Utrecht University (FUB) "Human Rights and Human Capabilities".

Prof. Yossi Dahan, College of Law and Business (FUB) "On International Labor Rights and shared Responsibility"

Prof. Eric Posner, University of Chicago (FUB) "The Twilight of Human Rights Law"

Year 2: 2015-2016

Cohort 2:

Moran Avital, "The Effect of Global Trends in the Human Rights Movement on the Israeli Campaign for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: Strategies and Challenges" (Prof. Eitan Alimi, Political Science, HUJ; Prof. Uwe Flick, Political and Social Sciences, FUB)

Shani Bar-Tuvia, "International Diffusion of Norm Violation: The Case of Refugee Policies in Western Countries" (Dr. Galia Press-Barnathan, International Relations, HUJ; Prof. Thomas Risse, Political and Social Sciences, FUB)

Rona Dinur, "Relational Equality and Discrimination" (Prof. David Enoch and Prof. Moshe Halbertal, Philosophy, HUJ; Prof. Stephan Gosepath, Philosophy, FUB)

Hila Levi, "“Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast": Understanding the World Bank's Partial Assimilation of Human Rights Norms through the Lens of Organizational Culture" (Prof. Moshe Hirsch, Law and International Relations, HUJ; Prof. Michael Zurn, Political and Social Sciences, FUB)

Magdalena Pacholska, "Complicity in International Law: Extending Accountability Matrix to International Organizations" (Prof. Moshe Hirsch, Law and International Relations, HUJ; Prof. Andreas Zimmerman, Law, Potsdam)

Bruck Teshome, "Recasting the Role of the State in Realizing the Human Right to Development in the Age of Globalisation" (Prof. Tomer Broude, Law and International Relations, HUJ; Prof. Helmut Aust, Law, FUB)

Postdoctoral fellow: Dr. Renana Keydar (Stanford University), “Is More Truth Better in Coming to Terms with the Past? On a Big Data Approach to Crimes of Atrocity
 

Introductory seminar in Jerusalem for each incoming cohort

Each fall, the Hebrew University's Minerva Center for Human Rights brings together the new cohort of HR-UP doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows from FUB and HUJ for an intensive 2-week Introductory Seminar in Jerusalem. The aims of the seminar are to introduce the new cohort to HR-UP and its interdisciplinary approach; to enable the Fellows from the two universities to become acquainted with one another, and with the HR-UP faculty and staff, on both a personal and academic level, and to continue building connections that will form the basis of a fruitful collaboration throughout their involvement with the program; to allow each student to present his or her research to the group, and provide a forum for discussion and feedback from the other students, their advisors and researchers; to give the FUB students a first opportunity for personal acquaintance with their HUJI supervisors; to acquaint the students from FUB with Jerusalem and Israel; and to expose the students from both universities to a variety of human rights issues “in the field”. These goals are achieved through a demanding schedule of lectures, discussions, site visits and thematic field trips with dozens of leading academics and with civil society organizations. Some touristic and social events are also included.


Summer school in Berlin

Another important element of HR-UP is the 10-day summer school held annually in Berlin, in which all cohorts and many program faculty from both HUJ and FUB (as well as the HR-UP International Advisory Board) participate. The summer school includes presentations by each of the Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows, lectures and workshops with top guest speakers, and site visits and field trips focusing on human rights issues in Germany.
 

Visit of the Mayor of Berlin to HR-UP in Jerusalem

During an official visit to Jerusalem, the Mayor of Berlin, Mr. Michael Mller, accompanied by President Alt of Freie Universitat, visited the Hebrew University on October 12, 2015, to meet with HR-UP students and staff. The President and the Rector of the Hebrew University hosted the event, which included presentations by Prof. Tomer Broude, Prof. Avner de Shalit and three HR-UP Doctoral Fellows.
 

Guest speakers at the HR-UP biweekly colloquia

Leading experts from diverse human rights-related fields are invited to present and discuss their work with the HR-UP students in the biweekly colloquia. Thanks to the videoconference technology, the speakers may be in either Berlin or Jerusalem, and the students from both universities participate in the discussion. Guest speakers at the HR-UP biweekly colloquia hosted in Jerusalem by the HUJ Center in 2014-2016 included:

Prof. Yuval Shany (Hebrew University of Jerusalem and UN Human Rights Committee), General Comment No. 35 on Article 9 ICCPR, Liberty and Security of Person

Adv. Marlon Weichert, Member of the Brazilian Amnesty Commission, The Report of the Brazilian National Truth Commission

Prof. Tomer Broude (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), The Financial Crises, Human Rights and Social Protest

Prof. Sir Nigel Rodley, University of Essex and Chair of the Human Rights Committee, The Treaty Body Strengthening Process

Dr. Re'em Segev (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Making Sense of Discrimination

Prof. Brian Langille (University of Toronto), Human Rights and Labor Rights

Prof. Ruth Rubio-Marin (European University Institute), Parity, Independence and Women’s Democracy

Prof. Andreas Zimmerman (University of Potsdam), The ICJ Decision in Croatia v. Serbia (Genocide)

Prof. Samuel Moyn (Harvard University), Human Rights Compliance Wars

Prof. Donald Horowitz (Duke University), Approaches to Interethnic Conciliation in Severely Divided Societies

Prof. Mila Versteeg (University of Virginia), Quantitative Research on Human Rights

Prof. Yifat Biton (College of Management), Limits of Equality and Virtues of Discrimination: Reconstructing Liberal Anti-discrimination Theory

Prof. Monica McWilliams (University of Ulster), Violence against Women in Times of Conflict

Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo (former Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court), International Criminal Law in the 21st Century: Learning from Reality

Prof. Ivana Jelic (University of Montenegro, Member of UN Human Rights Committee), Challenges of Human Rights Protection in States in Transition

Prof. Alon Confino (University of Virginia), 1948 and Human Rights: International Norms and Law of Self-Determination, Partitions and Forced Migration

Prof. Schirin Amir-Moazami (Freie Universitהt Berlin), Critical Hermeneutics, Situated Epistemologies and the Politics of Knowledge Production in the Field of Islam in Europe

Prof. Seyla Benhabib (Yale University), The New Sovereigntism and Transnational Law Many of these speakers were invited by the HUJ Center to also give public lectures, which were open to the broader HUJ academic community and to the public at large.

Year 1: 2014-2015

Cohort 1:

Rawia Aburabia (Law): "Personal status laws of Palestinian Bedouin women: Colonized by the law" (supervised by Michael Karayanni)

Nir Barak (Political Science): "The human right to the city and urban ecologism" (Avner de Shalit)

Tamar Hofnung (Political Science): "How broad, complex, and novel issues of human rights end up receiving very narrow policy treatment" (Avner de Shalit)

Lina Saba-Habesch (Law): "Criminal detentions of security suspects" (Mordechai Kremnitzer)

Limor Yehuda (Law): "The principle of collective equality in ethno-national conflict resolution" (Yuval Shany and Barak Medina)

Postdoctoral fellow: Dr. Noam Peleg, who received his PhD from University College London. His postdoctoral research looked at how the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child’s conceptions of ‘the child’ and childhood influence and shape the implementation of the Convention in various local contexts, with respect to children with diverse personal characteristics (ethnicity, religion, lass, gender, sexuality) and/or who come from different social, religion or economic backgrounds.
 

Introductory Seminar (November 16-26)

On November 16-27, 2014, the Minerva Center hosted an Introductory Seminar for the first cohort of 14 Fellows from Jerusalem and Berlin. The seminar provided the Fellows with an introduction to the new Program and to its interdisciplinary approach - as well as the opportunity to get to know one another, to introduce, discuss and develop their individual research projects, to meet with leading academics and practitioners, and to see first-hand and discuss in depth some of the human rights issues and dilemmas confronting Israel. Each of the Fellows presented their research before the rest of the group and their Hebrew University advisors. Led by HR-UP’s co-Directors Prof. Klaus Hoffmann-Holland of the Free University of Berlin and Prof. Tomer Broude of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the intensive introductory seminar also included lectures and comments by numerous Hebrew University faculty members, including Einat Albin (Law), Binyamin Blum (Law), Hillel Cohen (Middle East History), Avner De Shalit (Political science), Gili Drori (Head of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology), David Enoch (Head of the Department of Philosophy), Ruth Gavison (Law), Amos Goldberg (Holocaust Studies), Arie Kacowicz (International Relations), Michael Karayanni (Law), Mordechai Kremnitzer (Law), Barak Medina (Law), and Yuval Shany (Dean of the Faculty of Law, and Member of the UN Human Rights Committee), as well as Andreas Zimmerman (Law) of the University of Potsdam. The lectures focused on diverse aspects of human rights, illuminating the interdisciplinary nature of HR-UP. The seminar included numerous thematic field trips. In Jerusalem the group visited Yad Vashem toured religious and historical sites, and participated in a tour focused on the “seam” between East and West Jerusalem with the NGO Ir Amim. In Tel-Aviv the group participated in a tour and discussion led by the NGO Hotline for Refugees and Migrants on migrants and asylum-seekers from Africa. In Nazareth the group met with Dr. Yousef Jabareen, Founding Director of Dirasat (The Arab Center for Law and Policy) - the Center’s Angel 2006-2007 Postdoctoral Fellow – on the status of the Arab minority in Israel, and with Adv. Abbass Abbass, Founding Director of Al-Manarah (The Association for Arab Persons with Disabilities) – a graduate of the Minerva Center’s Human Rights Fellows Program - to discuss the special challenges and barriers facing Arabs with disabilities. An overnight trip to the Negev desert in the South of Israel focused on issues of Bedouin rights, and included talks with the NGO’s Itach and Shatil. A key component of HR-UP is the biweekly research workshop, which hosts discussions of papers presented by guest speakers. Both the Jerusalem and Berlin students participate in the workshop, which is transmitted between the two campuses by videoconference.
 

Guest speakers at the HR-UP workshop in 2014-2015 included:

Prof. Yuval Shany, Hebrew University - General Comment No. 35 on Article 9 ICCPR, Liberty and Security of Person

Adv. Marlon Weichert, Member of the Brazilian Amnesty Commission - The Report of the Brazilian National Truth Commission

Prof. Tomer Broude, Hebrew University - The Financial Crises, Human Rights and Social Protest

Prof. Nigel Rodley, University of Essex and Chair of the Human Rights Committee – The Treaty Body Strengthening Process

Dr. Re'em Segev, Hebrew University - Making Sense of Discrimination

Prof. Brian Langille, University of Toronto - Human Rights and Labor Rights

Prof. Ruth Rubio-Marin, EUI - Parity, Independence and Women’s Democracy

Prof. Andreas Zimmerman, University of Potsdam - The ICJ Decision in Croatia v. Serbia (Genocide)

Prof. Samuel Moyn, Harvard University - Human Rights Compliance Wars

Prof. Donald Horowitz, Duke University - Approaches to Interethnic Conciliation in Severely Divided Societies

Prof. Mila Versteeg, University of Virginia - Quantitative Research on Human Rights

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Summer school in Berlin (June 25 – July 5)

Our colleagues at FUB hosted the students and program faculty from both sides for the Program's annual Summer School in Berlin. In addition to student and guest presentations and site tours and discussions, the Summer School hosted the first meeting of the Program directors with the Program's International Advisory Board.

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