The (Non) Observance of Human Rights in Russia
Dr Mary McAuley, a Fellow of the IDCR is giving a series of talks on human rights in Russia. The first talk took place today at 1:00 pm and laid out a broad set of questions with respect to the (non) observance of human rights in Russia. The Duma elections of 2011 produced a number of dramatic protest events in Moscow that in Dr McAuley’s words ‘left both the government and the organisers in a state of bewilderment’ for their unprecedented nature. Protest demands have focused on classic democratic rights to free and fair elections, observance of the 1993 Constitution, the right to an independent judiciary, and the right to protest, assemble, and freedom of speech.
But behind these more salient events, McAuley’s research maps out a significant gap between the constitutional framework for the protection of human rights, which is inspired by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the observance of human rights, where there continue be a large number number of documented violations of human rights (see Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the US State Department). Moreover, there is a large and active ‘new’ human rights community, McAuley contends, that is well organised, but has yet to overcome problems of collective action to form a large and sustainable movement for human rights.
Her next seminar is on 7 February and will focus on the possible explanations for state violation of human rights and the inability for a large human rights movement to form. The third seminar on 6 March brings the argument together and foreshadows her new book on the subject that she is currently writing.
For more information, please contact the IDCR on firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Mary McAuley (M.A., D. Phil. Oxon) left an academic career, as Fellow in Politics at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, in 1995 to join the Ford Foundation. Her previous positions included posts at Essex University, visiting professorships at the universities of Wisconsin (Madison) and California (Berkeley), and a British Academy Research Readership. In 1996 she opened the Ford Foundation’s Moscow Office, with responsibility for developing the Foundation’s grant-making programme throughout Russia, a programme which included human rights and legal reform, civil society and local governance, higher education, culture and media. In May 2002 she left the Foundation to return to London, where, as an Associate of the International Centre for Prison Studies, (then at King’s College, London, now in partnership with the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex) she pursued interests in the reform of juvenile justice. At present she is working on a study of the Russian human rights community 1991-2011. Recent publications include: Soviet Politics 1917-1991, Oxford University Press, 1992, Russia’s Politics of Uncertainty, Cambridge University Press, 1997, Deti v tiurmye [Children in Prison], Moscow, OGI, 2008 and Children in Custody: Anglo-Russian Perspectives, Bloomsbury Academic, 2010