This lecture by Heiner Bielefeldt is the closing keynote of the 18th annual BAA conference "The State of Human Rights".

Free admission, please register.

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Modesty and Ambition - Preconditions of Meaningful Human Rights Practice

Closing Keynote / Free admission / Please register


Human rights challenge political, economic, and cultural power asymmetries – or this is their aspiration. However, after their adoption into international law, human rights themselves have become a source of discursive, cultural, and political power. Do we have to conclude that human rights produce their own dialectics? Does the language of universal inclusion inadvertently lead to concealed or open forms of exclusion? While such questions will probably never receive a final answer, the task remains to spell out the conditions of a justifiable and self-critical human rights practice.

Heiner Bielefeldt holds the chair of Human Rights and Human Rights Politics at FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg. He combines academic reflection on human rights with worldwide experiences which he gained when serving as UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. He published numerous books, essays and papers on human rights and politics.

The lecture is the closing keynote of the 18th annual Bavarian American Academy (BAA) conference The State of Human Rights: Historical Genealogies, Political Controversies, and Cultural Imaginaries.

Organizer: Bavarian American Academy

Kindly supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), U.S. Consulate General Munich

(Photo: Heiner Bielefeldt ©Harald Sippel)


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