International Affairs and Human Rights

The post-Cold War world presents a vast array of ethical dilemmas as demonstrated most recently by 9/11 and the war in Iraq. Technological change and economic globalization, together with traditional issues of international conflict - border disputes, ethnic and religious claims, civil wars, and the spread of armaments - combine to create daunting new challenges for contemporary policy makers, leaders and citizens. These include problems of human rights definition and enforcement by means ranging from trade boycotts to humanitarian intervention; the inexorable growth of migrant and refugee populations; and the roles and responsibilities of multinational corporations and nongovernmental organizations. Institute faculty, in collaboration with the Program for Political and Social Thought, sponsor new undergraduate courses, symposia, and undergraduate student internships, including opportunities in international settings. The goal is to provide opportunities for the study of current, real-world political issues from a variety of ethical, interdisciplinary, and cultural perspectives. In Spring, 2003, the faculty working group sponsored a symposium on Human Rights and Bioethics that featured distinguished faculty from numerous universities, as well as two officials from the World Health Organization: Helena Nygren-Krug, Health and Human Rights Adviser in the Strategy Unit/Director-General's Office, and Alexander Morgan Capron, Director, Ethics and Health, World Health Organization.