News & Events

Print/PDF this page:

Print Friendly and PDF

Share this page:

Bernstein Symposium, "Global Interests and Local Needs: Striking a Balance in Post-Conflict States," Feb. 27-28


The annual symposium of the Robert L. Bernstein Fellowship in International Human Rights will be held at Yale Law School, 127 Wall St., on Feb. 27-28, 2003.

This year's symposium, "Global Interests and Local Needs: Striking a Balance in Post-Conflict States," is free and open to the public.

The symposium seeks to clarify the role that human rights, development, local empowerment, and constitutionalism play in the reconstruction of post-conflict states. "Each is an essential component in any plan to put a failed state on the right track," said James Silk, executive director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights, which cosponsors the symposium. "But when it comes to nation-building, is there a conflict between global interests and local needs? Whether interventions after September 11 will represent the birth of a successful, sustainable approach to nation-building or a new failure depends, in large part, on the extent to which development programs and constitutional structures are crafted with respect for human rights and have the imprimatur of local legitimacy."

The opening panel on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 6:45 p.m. will offer an exchange of views regarding the reconstruction of post-conflict states, moderated by W. Michael Reisman, Myres S. McDougal Professor of International Law at Yale Law School. Panelists include Yale Law School Professor Amy Chua, author of World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability; and Niall Ferguson, Herzog Professor of Financial History, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University, and the author of numerous award-winning books on business and history, including the upcoming Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power. The closing address, which will explore alternatives for the future, will be given by Harold Koh, Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law at Yale Law School. His talk on "The Future of Democracy Promotion," will be given on Friday Feb. 28 at 5:45 p.m. in Room 127.

Two regional panels on Friday will focus on reconstruction efforts in post-conflict African and Balkan states, while other panels will explore the roles played by key participants in international civil society, and offer an appraisal of the current model of democracy promotion in use around the world today. Other panels will examine the role of various key international participants in post-conflict nation building and will evaluate the emerging model of democracy promotion.

The Symposium is sponsored by the Law School's Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights and the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal.

The Robert L. Bernstein Fellowships in International Human Rights were established in 1997 to honor Robert Bernstein, the former chair, president, and CEO of Random House, Inc., and the founding chair of Human Rights Watch. The fellowships provide financial support to allow two Yale Law School graduates to pursue full-time international human rights work for one year.

Former Bernstein Fellows have worked on projects promoting and protecting human rights in such diverse locations as Eritrea, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Thailand, and Tibet. The current Bernstein Fellows will discuss their work on Friday, Feb. 27, at 12:30 p.m. in the Faculty Lounge at Yale Law School. Eric Friedman '02 LAW is working on the relationship between HIV/AIDS and human rights at Physicians for Human Rights, and Molly Beutz '01 LAW is addressing issues concerning violence against women at the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights.

The 2003-2004 Bernstein Fellows will be announced at a reception immediately following the final speakers on Friday in the Law School's Alumni Reading Room.

Related Documents:
Symposium Agenda