Human Rights | Wilson Center

Human Rights

Russia, Repression and the Rule of Law

Any battle between the Russian state and its political opponents has always been an unequal contest, since the state brings an overwhelming superiority to such confrontations. This disparity is as true today as it was during the Soviet Union’s fight against dissidents and imperial Russia’s struggle against diverse revolutionary movements.

Yet in each period, some challengers to the system have used existing law – underdeveloped as it may be – to demand that the Russian state live up to the principles of the rule of law.

African American History Month Special Edition: The Civil Rights Movement in the Shadow of MLK

We spoke with one of the nation’s leading scholars on the American civil rights movement to learn about the immediate impact that the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. had on the struggle for freedom. We also discuss MLK’s legacy and its meaning in 2015. David Chappell is a professor at the University of Oklahoma and the author of, “Waking From the Dream: The Struggle for Civil Rights in the Shadow of Martin Luther King, Jr.” That’s the topic for this edition of CONTEXT.

The Changing Face and Changing Roles of the Foreign Service

For more than two decades, the US Department of State, USAID and other foreign affairs agencies have worked to ensure that the Foreign Service looks more like America.  Success in that effort could contribute immeasurably to the United States’ global leadership on a range of issues including gender equality, democracy and minority rights.

In Bahrain, Arab Spring Hopes Are Freezing Over

On the fourth anniversary of protests aimed at reforming Bahrain’s autocratic monarchy, recent events—including 72 people being stripped of citizenship for “harming the interests of the Kingdom”—underscore a worrisome trend: The rights of people in the Middle East are shrinking rather than expanding.

Ukrainian Democracy After the Maidan: Threats and Opportunities

The Global Europe Program is pleased to host the 10th Annual Ion Ratiu Democracy Award Workshop on Ukrainian Democracy After the Maidan featuring keynote remarks the 2014 recipient of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award, Mustafa Nayyem, a journalist, democracy activist and Parliamentarian in Ukraine. 


Countering Violent Extremism in Pakistan: Opportunities and Obstacles for Civil Society

The December 16, 2014, school massacre in Peshawar is a sobering reminder of the still-potent threat of militancy in Pakistan. Encouragingly, nongovernmental organizations have been developing grassroots initiatives to counter violent extremism—from candlelight vigils to anti-Taliban protests. These promising efforts, however, have to this point not grown into a nationwide campaign. What does Pakistani civil society hope to achieve with its anti-extremism movement?

Robin Bronen: To Help Alaskans Adapt, Make it Easier to Relocate

Turkey’s Troubled Democracy and Foreign Policy

In the aftermath of the 2013 corruption probes, Fatih University scholar Savaş Genç argues, Turkey has taken a sharp turn towards a new era under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Professor Genç will discuss recent political developments, including concerns over the weakening of the rule of law, growing pressure on the judiciary and limits on the freedom of expression under Erdogan’s leadership.

La hora oscura del Alba


El Alba era una extensión de la energía política de Chávez, y de su petróleo, y no se pudo avanzar en su institucionalización real, ni en el aterrizaje de sus horizontes ideológicos”.

Según dijo a Semana Cynthia Arnson, directora del programa latinoamericano del Wilson Center, “la ideología antiimperialista del Alba cada vez convoca menos en la región, y los líderes de la izquierda han adoptado políticas más pragmáticas que tienden a la inclusión social en el marco de la democracia representativa”.

How Will Women in the Middle East Fare in 2015?

Last year was not a good one for women in the Middle East. Political turmoil, civil war, the rise of Islamic State, clampdowns by autocratic governments, and the ineffectiveness of reformist governments all contributed to unfavorable, even worsening, conditions for women.