The APSA has a history of involvement in human rights activities.
The American Political Science Association recognizes the connections between human rights and the political science enterprise, from the right of political science researchers and other scholars to conduct their work without fear of harassment or intimidation to the human right to available, accessible, affordable scientific knowledge of quality and the benefits of scientific progress, with a particular focus on vulnerable populations.
Former APSA president, diplomat, and Nobel Peace Prize awardee Ralph J. Bunche drafted sections of the UN charter and played a key role in the development and adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
APSA and AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition
The American Political Science Association is a member of the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition, a network of scientific, engineering and health membership organizations that recognize the role of science and scientists in the promotion and protection of human rights. The Coalition is devoted to:
(1) bridge-building and coordinating: both within the scientific community – among scientific associations and across disciplines – and between the scientific and human rights communities
(2) education and capacity-building, within scientific associations and within the human rights community.
The APSA’s membership of the Coalition creates multiple opportunities for leadership, engagement and participation in efforts at the intersections of science, technology and human rights.
Meetings: the Coalition meets in Washington, DC in January and July. These meetings provide an opportunity to learn about and engage in robust discussions about contemporary themes at the intersections of human rights, science and technology (e.g., climate change, water, big data), and to further the Coalition goals through project meetings, workshops, and leadership discussions. Meeting information, including video archives, is available here.
Projects: the Coalition is focused on getting work done, from building the capacity of human rights organizations to use scientific methods in their research, to developing teaching materials on human rights for STEM curricula, to bringing institutional change within member organizations. Current opportunities for involvement are presented on the Coalition website.
APSA Activities and the Coalition
The representative of the APSA to the Coalition is Betsy Super. You are welcome to join the Coalition as an affiliated individual. To do so, please email the Coalition Secretariat.
Human Rights Activities
- Letter to the President on Appointments to OSTP
- APSA-AAAS Webinar: Political Science and Human Rights – Exploring the Connections
- APSA Statement on the White House Executive Order on Immigration (2017)
- 2017 Annual Meeting Sessions on Human Rights (Program-39 sessions)
- APSA Endorsement of the March for Science
- International Programs
- Bibliography on Genocide, Politicide, and Human Rights
- 2016 Annual Meeting Sessions on Human Rights
- Plenary Session video from September 3, 2016 on “Are We Making Progress on Human Rights?”
- Democratic Imperatives: Innovations in Rights, Participation, and Economic Citizenship report
- APSA Connect Beta Human Rights Group
- APSA Guide to Professional Ethics, Rights, and Freedoms
- Posts to PSNow that mention Human Rights
- APSA Public Statements and Letters
- APSA Syllabi Collection
- Publication, Democratic Imperatives: Innovations in Rights, Participation, and Economic Citizenship, June 2012
- A Guide to professional Ethics in Political Science, Second Edition, Revised 2012
- APSA Human Rights Section, Best Dissertation Award
- APSA Human Rights Section, Best Book Award
- Committee on Professional Ethical, Rights and Freedoms
- Section on Human Rights (Section 36) established in 2001
- Conference in conjunction with the International Studies Association and the International Political Science Association, “Assessing the State of Human Rights Nine Years after 9/11,” June 2010
Human Rights References
American Political Science Association (2003). Norms and Rights: A Non-Recursive Model of Human Rights Protection. Human Rights and Repression: The Quest for Understanding. Philadelphia: American Political Science Association.
Beyrer, C. and Kass, N. (2002). Human rights, politics, and reviews of research ethics. The Lancet, 360(9328), pp.246-251.
Cardenas, S. (2009). Mainstreaming Human Rights: Publishing Trends in Political Science. PS: Political Science & Politics, 42(01), pp.161-166.
Landman, T. (2005). The Political Science of Human Rights. British Journal of Political Science, 35(3), pp.549-572.
Mitchell, N. and McCormick, J. (1988). Economic and Political Explanations of Human Rights Violations. World Politics, 40(4), pp.476-498.
Roper, S. and Barria, L. (2009). Political Science Perspectives on Human Rights. Human Rights Review, 10(3), pp.305-308.
Yu, P. (2007). Reconceptualizing Intellectual Property Interests in a Human Rights Framework. 40th ed. Davis, C.A.: University of California Davis Law Review, pp.1039-1149.