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Welcome from the Co-Directors

Georgia State University’s Center for Human Rights and Democracy (CHRD) provides interdisciplinary research, teaching, and community outreach on pressing rights-based issues at local and global levels.  The Center’s contemporary and comparative studies are driven by recognition of a powerful double-edged premise characterizing the human condition for centuries—namely, human rights cannot exist without democracy and democracy cannot exist without human rights.  Research foci of affiliated faculty include human rights protection in urban settings, threats to human rights in established democracies with high immigration, and human rights abuses in transitioning (e.g., post-dictatorship and post-colonial) societies.  The Center hosts guest speakers of national and international prominence, and it sponsors research symposia each year that connect research scholars with policymakers and the public.  Recent symposia have addressed topics included “Human Rights in an Age of Insecurity,” “Democracy and Extremism,” “The Rule of Law,” and “Human Rights and Immigration Policy.”  The Center provides modest support—travel assistance and seed money to initiate collaborative research--for faculty and graduate student research on human rights and democracy.  The CHRD promotes study abroad programs and other curricular innovations that connect students with the study of human rights across the globe.  Such study abroad programs include three-week sessions (“Race, Religion, and Conflict in Northern Ireland” and “Human Rights in Argentina”) as well as a full semester program in Strasbourg, France (“Human Rights and Democracy in Europe”).  We invite you to explore our Center's website.  Contact us if you have any questions or interest.

-Drs. William M. Downs and Fernando O. Reati, Co-Directors